Yesterday, I met up with my fellow expats day trip buddies and we headed north to Trieste. Due North of Venice and on the Adriatic coast by Slovenia, Trieste has a long history and much to see. It was so much larger than I thought. I got this impression immediately when the train station looked more like an airport terminal and had a complete food/grocery store in it! Why a person would need to buy a slab of beef at the train station is beyond me, but it works for them.
We had no agenda, so started at the 'I' office (tourist information) where we somewhat patiently waited for the three people in front of us to sign their life away with the tourist card they were buying...its was such a transaction that I joked they must be signing up for the timeshare program!
With map in hand, we navigated toward the 'ancient' part of town (not to be confused with the 'old' part of town). Who knew a city could be so hilly right on the water. It was almost a 90 degree angle walk up to the church and castle (castle was closed for repairs). The mosaic inside the church was a brilliant purple and I wish I could have caught the beauty of it in the picture.
After that, we were travelling back to the bus station to catch a transfer to another castle when we passed the ruins of a colliseum--right there in the middle of the city!
On the bus, it soon became obvious to everyone that we had no idea which stop was ours to get off. Either they spoke enough English to understand us or they just saw the confusion in our faces, but before long, the entire bus was conversing about which stop to get off on, where was the best place to eat and who we should follow in order to find these things! After a while, we, the tourists, weren't really necessary because all of the locals were discussing these things amongst themselves. It was very funny and a huge treat in kindness and friendliness in a foreign town (and we all know how I love to experience that when I am away from Venice!).
We stopped to eat at a restaurant that had trees growing out the floor and through the roof and then made our way to Miramar castle which is right on the waterfront. I hear its beautiful standing on the grounds of the castle and looking at the sea lapping again the shore. The reason I say "I hear" is because we were plagued with more fog and couldnt actually see the sea. We were assured it was out there but as you can tell from the pic of me standing on the grounds with the sea in the background, it just isnt there!
Another fun day trip and more memories to stow away for those long, how summer days when I am back in Phoenix!