Two long years of waiting planning the day arrived to depart our home countries for a week of driving on the beautiful roads of Sardinia – a drivers dream.
Departure points for this international event varied from Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the north and south of the UK. Most of us drove the whole distance in our sevens, and Lotus cars although our German friends chose to trailer theirs to the island.
The journey was part of the adventure as we all gathered in small groups to spend 3, 4 or 5 days to Italy’s port of Genoa, (not a port for the fainthearted!) for the overnight crossing to Sardinia! We all meandered with routes to the port that took some through Holland, Belgium, Germany and Austria others through France and Switzerland, stopping off in stunning alpine scenery or even at the museum at Sinsheim for a quick ‘trip’ on Concorde and Russian- Tu-144 dubbed the “Concordski”.
For those partners who did not relish the drive down, flying was the option, meeting the group ready for the crossing. Whatever way we came it was an adventure, and a chance to get to know our travelling companions better.
The first stop after the crossing was at a beach resort just a few miles from Porto Torres with breakfast waiting for us and a day of relaxing on the beach or by the pool before a lovely meal together on the terrace, and a good night sleep before the first day’s drive to the centre of the island. Every car and driver has their own rhythm some preferring fast and exhilarating driving through the Sardinian hills, other a gentler pace stopping at cafes along the route – and on the second day this was to the little hilltop town of Bitti.
The week was planned so we could spend 2 nights in each village in beautiful well-appointed hotels meaning there was an opportunity for a day off for both driver and passenger or just the passenger to relax or more traditional sight-seeing whilst the drivers did a more challenging drive together.
One of the more ‘exhilarating drives’ resulted in a group spending an evening and night welding a seven back together ready for the next day’s drive, arriving just 2 minutes late at the start point, whilst the same day others did nothing more exciting than visiting a local beach café! Other minor problems were soon rectified by an enthusiastic crowd!
Our last stop before returning to mainland Italy was the rather glamourous Porto Cervo a contrast to the rural Sardinia we had got to know. Thanks to some farsighted participants a drinks party was held on the final night on the series of adjoining balconies of our hotel!
Whatever the day held for the 38 participants we always ended having a wonderful meal together sharing stories of the day and on one occasion ending up at a local Sardinian wedding celebration until the early hours of the morning.
These trip are as much about friendships as driving and the itinerary created helped us to do just that. In conclusion - it was no surprise that the Swiss return to this island annually, the roads, the scenery and the warm welcome from islanders who appreciate our cars, make it a driving dream. So until next year 'Buona salute amici!'