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  • hbanziger

D + 20: Non Toccare La Pietra!

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

Arriving in Nora on the Capo di Pula - the Phoenicians were masters in selecting sites which could be seen from several miles away!

On the way to Cagliari, our change-over port, we stopped 10 miles west at Capo di Pula. We did not want to sail past Nora, the 3’000 years old Phoenician town, without visiting it. As soon as the AFAET anchored, we got into the tender and went straight to the shore.

Map of Nora - the norther part is not excavated yet - the land belongs to the Italian Army ...

Disembarking amidst the ruins of Nora proved to be not such a brilliant idea. We disturbed the afternoon peace of six blue shirted site employees who were sitting in the shade, having a smoke, a chat and some coffee. Our daring landing woke them up from their leisurely “dolce far niente” and spurred them into action. Descending like a flock of birds on us, they were yelling “No, No, No, No!!!!” and “Not toccare la pietra!”

Walking over "unprotected" villa foundations in the sea - nobody had an issue ...

Considering the fierce opposition, we beat a retreat and walked 100 meters along the shore over inundated and “not protected” foundations of ancient Roman villas. We made it to the official entrance! To our delight the blue shirted guardians greeted us again and advised with stern expressions “Nessuna maschera, nessuno biglietto”. Glad we had masks! Now we finally understood. The six guardians had challenging dual-role jobs. Protecting both the site from people and people from the virus. Dutifully, they wore a mask when selling tickets - and took them off right thereafter.

Streets seem always to survive - as they did in Tharros

We found a small theatre here with 1200 seats - this can not have been the big town some sources claim - we have seen far larger theatres in 2017, 2018 and 2019

Some of the surviving mosaics were splendid though

The site was beautiful but made a run down impression - was a bit sad

The guardians job must be very stressful. Thankfully, there were only four other tourists around. The blue shirt brigade could thus retreat to the shade again, have a seat and continue with their routine. We felt safe. Somebody was looking after us. Six staff for such a large site is probably the absolute minimum. It would be more appropriate to have six for health protection and another six for site protection. We wondered whether we should not write to the EU or maybe to Angela Merkel to suggest a headcount increase. Now that there are joint and several liability Eurobonds, there must be a way to finance it.

Time to say goodbye - we had to be at the Marina in Cagliari at 7 pm

Always fun to meet fellow mariners - we always wave!

Sadly, a great part of the site at Nora was closed and many plots not well maintained. Also, several panels with explanatory texts were missing. It was a bit difficult to figure out what was what. But we found the Roman theatre and most of all: looked after! But we would not mention the site's state in the letter to Angela.

Arriving in Cagliari and ready for the next surprise but this is for tomorrow's blog

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