Elephant Rock

Monday 9.10.23

We descend the slope to where the coach is waiting and we now commence to traverse the northern part of the island with our first pause at Elephant’s Rock which had two tombs carved inside and the rest of the shape resembles an Elephant.  An interesting curiosity if nothing else.

Castelsardo is our stopping place for lunch and we are dropped a little out of the town and descend to the current centre which has a circular open space (I can hardly call it a square!).  The town is dominated by (surprise, surprise) a Genoese fortress – Castello dei Doria!  We do not have the time to walk up to the castle but survey the choice of restaurants before selecting a very light lunch and a drink.

DMU at Sorso for Sassari

Moving onwards our coach takes us to Sorso which is the terminus of a railway line.  This line is operated by ARST – Sardinia regional transport – owned by the autonomous Sardinia regional administration.  It is mainly a bus operator but also operates a small number of railways plus it is responsible for the Green Trains – one of which we have already covered.  We join the train and head to Sassari – a major town on this side of the island – which is about 10km.  It uses 950mm gauge in common with other secondary lines.

Our service is one of the relatively modern (2017) Stadler units – there are nine of these and they provide a pleasant environment for the 15 minute journey to the large station of Sassari where there is now a barrier between the lines showing the separate ownership of the ARST and the main operator which we will mention later.

Having booked into the hotel I return to the station in the hope of catching a train to Porto Torres – when I arrive at the station it is showing as delayed and the anticipated departure appears to be growing.  Given the uncertainty I abandon the wait, which later turns out to be entirely justified as the service is terminated at Sassari and did not operate at all.  So a length of uncovered railway.

Instead I walk back up the hill to the hotel and onwards to the Town Square plus some side streets to track down a restaurant.  I only spot one candidate and initially reject it – but fellow travellers have been recommended to dine there so I retrace my steps to L’Assassino and book a table for later.  Our dinner is excellent and apart from our fellow travellers the courtyard tables all seem to be full with locals so a well like restaurant.