Having landed firmly on Italian ground our first priority was a visit to the local 'Conad' supermarket to check out the products and equally important the prices. It was nice to see that food prices were on par with mainland Spain. Even restaurants, trattorias (less formal than a restaurant) and cafe bars are reasonably priced so pizzas, pasta, prosecco and ice-creams are all on the menu ;-)
Replacing our Spanish 13KG Repsol gas cylinder was very straightforward when we found Butangas offered a product with similar dimensions albeit only 10Kg this time. We're finding it far cheaper to run on larger bottles compared with camping gaz however running on larger bottles does come with a risk! If we run out somewhere remote, we may not be able to obtain a replacement. Every country has it's own brand and bottle dimensions differ considerably but since leaving La Rochelle we've managed to find a cylinder and associated regulator to suit our gas locker. As a backup we do carry a small camping gaz bottle that we can call on should the worst happen... the thought of no cuppa in the morning... unimaginable!
Our Tesco SIM with 8GB data bundle has coverage but sadly the offer expires early September so we'll have to review our options but for now we still have contact with the outside world!
Next, the all important self-serve laundrette. Located within 100m of the marina, offering several machines costing between €4 and €6 a wash (depending on size of machine) and drying facilities at €1 for 10 mins and €1 for 8 mins (again depending on size of machine).
With everything 'ship shape' all that remained was a visit to the 'centro storico', the old town which is a fabulous place to wonder around whilst enjoying an Italian ice-cream.
Much of the architecture reflects Catalan and Gothic influences dates from the 16th century. The town is virtually surrounded by ancient seawalls with several defence towers overlooking the sea.
Behind the walled exterior lies a maze of narrow cobbled, shady streets decorated with colourful hanging baskets and/or balcony troughs.
Walk another street and there are boutique shops, selling local products such as coral, leather and cork.
Alghero is the capital of 'Costa del Corallo', the 'coral coast' so called because of a great amount of high quality and valuable red coral which is fished out by "corallari" people - under strict licence.
Turn another corner and there are streets lined with bars, restaurants and tratorrias. The old town has a wonderful atmosphere throughout the day but really comes to life in the early evening when crowds swell the alleyways to browse the shop windows. As for ice-cream, there's a parlour virtually down every street that we walked down and we have to admit that in less than a week of being here we've tried eight flavours already - we still haven't found a favourite one... :-)