Tuesday, July 31, 2007

June 2007 - Logudoro, Sardinia - The Arid Valley

From Castelsardo we drove inland to the Logudoro region, which is a wide flat valley in Northern Sardinia.

Our main goal was to visit the Santisima Trinita di Saccargia, the most significant example of Romanesque architecture in Sardinia.
After visiting the Santissima, we took a drive through the valley, the Valledoria, founded by the Doria family from Genoa in the Middle Ages and known for its cattle farming and blacksmiths.
The area is surrounded by amazing pink granite mountains which trap the clouds and keep the valley parched and oppressed by an extreme dry heat.
After a drive through the Valledoria, which owes its present prosperity to the quarrying of granite, . . .
. . . all the while crossing through colorful towns like Ozieri (one of the oldest in Sardinia) above, we arrived in Patada, the historical center for Sardinia's finest blacksmiths famous the world over for their handmade knives. We stopped in one blacksmith's shop to take a look at them. The knives are esquisite, made of ram's horn (for the handle) and hand-forged steel (for the blade).
Pattada is also the site of the Sa Fraigada forest, comprised of skinny, impossibly tall trees that have sprouted from the earth inches from one another. We spent the afternoon hiking through the forest before heading home.
The forest is situated on top of a mountain, overlooking the Valledoria. We took this photo from the edge of the forest looking out to valley.
After taking in the views, we drove back down the mountain, through the Valledoria, and over and around the granite peaks. As soon as we got around these mountains we could see the ocean and feel the change to a cooler, wetter climate.

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