On the slow running carousel belt of Elmas airport arrivals area colorful baggage in royal blue crimson red and black are waiting to be reunited with respective owners visibly impatient to dive into fresh Sardinian waters. A breathtaking perspective of a Faraglione rock nestled in the middle of a blue sea faces a steep coastal bay - “ This is not Capri - the large ad reads - It’s Sardinia! ” reminds me of my instagram ‘s captions.
Few minutes more felt like eternity have passed as I notice that most passengers have disappeared from the terminal area except for a couple with a tearful teen and a chubby blonde with a broken bag. She and her parents arrived from Africa, their mission is over so they are moving back to Italy and everything she cares for including her memories kept in a journal are in is her suitcase.
The belt dramatically stops. No sign of a black suitcase with a satin white ribbon engraved “Joelle” my suitcase. His luggage assured one a precarious tray, my lucky husband with shows me the way with a just a gesture (What else one would comment at this point?) to the small Alitalia ‘s baggage claim office at the end of the terminal. In the shabby no air conditioned room filled with vintage fans a a tanned young woman sitting in bright orange nails and kaki shirt explains with a reassuring smile on her lips that it is quite normal to loose one’s luggage during the alta stagione , June-July-August –September, the high season and that lost luggage is not effectively lost but temporarily 'lost-of-sight' or 'delayed' until the airline is able to locate them in the city where we left from, in my case Brussels.
Goes without saying that I never told them I knew these things do happen with Alitalia especially because years ago coming from Sao Paulo, Brazil heading to Olbia, my family and I including a husband, three small children and a nanny lost site of seven large suitcases in Rome during Ferragosto, one of the most important national holiday in the country. Later, we find out through the impressive intervention of the well-connected and influential super concierges of Rome’s Hassler hotel and Plaza Athenee in Paris that the luggage had never left the departures hall of Fiumicino’s airport. If it weren’t for them we would still be looking today.
But this trip will be different. Having forgotten the past experience I believe perhaps naively, that things have somehow evolved in my native Italy and after returning to Sardinia every Summer I decide this time to avoid altogether the North East the millionaire’s yacht- filled Costa Smeralda to nostalgically experience some of the island authenticity through arid landscape, crystal-clear unpolluted waters and the notoriously exquisite cuisine I enjoyed growing up with during my teens. Aspects that don’t seem to have changed in the super wired fast paced globalized world.
We are told by the woman’s boss standing by the counter in a darker tan than hers that once they locate my luggage it would reach the airport in Cagliari and 24 hours later my hotel located in the Sardinian South East region of Villasiumius which should be approximately an hour drive from the airport if of course, we get along with the GPS. In New York we previously booked with American Express a Clio Peugeot predicting enough room for our luggage except for the fact that we only have one.
Very different from the city Olbia where I have the habit to land in Sardinia our drive to the hotel Cala Caterina is hectic. The hotel seemed to be a small oasis when I checked it on line but around such a traffic jam exiting the city of Cagliari seems almost impossible that a place like that exists.
Joelle'stips: Find more here about compensation if your luggage gets 'delayed'