They said it couldn’t be done but we decided to do it anyway. That is, try to get around Sardinia without renting a car. Mostly it worked pretty well as the Italian bus and train system is highly reliable except on Sunday when buses virtually stop functioning altogether.
Our only real challenge was in getting from Iglesias to Cabras which would have been a 1 1/2 hour drive. Instead we took a 2 1/4 hour train to Oristano with the idea of getting a bus to Cabras, only 11km away. Poor planning. The Oristano bus station is nowhere near the train station. After waiting a while for a bus to a bus station, we snagged a taxi to Cabras for only €20. It was a pleasure to check into our B&B Torremana
The modest village with plain, low houses and wide streets had an easy charm but for some reason the street layout made no sense to us and we were constantly lost. The treeless streets all looked alike. It was like being caught in an under-designed video game. Pleasant and slightly disorienting.
The best part of town was the tranquil lagoon (pond) that was a protected wildlife habitat and bordered a lengthy stretch of beach.
Anyone looking to round out their wardrobe (for whatever reason) should head to “Hanks”, the local Chinese merchant who sold everything at unbelievably cheap prices.
The following day we decided to visit Tharros. Excavations showed that from the 8th century BC until its abandonment in the 10th century Tharros was inhabited, first by Phoenicians, then by Punics and then by Romans. It might have been even older. To visit Tharros we had to rent a car for the day as no buses went there off season. It was a fantastic site, well worth the trip.
After Tharros we stopped in to the Archaeological Museum which displayed the totally weird finds from the nearby Monte Prama excavation. This necropolis contained over 5000 fragments of statues that are being painstakingly reassembled. These blocky stone statues probably date from the nuraghic civilization, about 600BC. They would be the oldest sculptures in the Mediterranean. The enthusiastic curator pointed out that the ancients hadn’t yet figured out how to keep the statues upright. They appear to have been suspended somehow or were buried vertically.