Venice Part two and on to Trieste!
Venice was beautiful, but not a city that you can spend more than a weekend in. Our two nights up we grabbed the big regional train to Trieste… a sprawling industrial and dismal port city known for its heavy eastern European influences and sea food.
In Trieste we found private accommodations at the Rittmeyer apartments. Expensive at 100 euro per night but comfortable. We grabbed our keys and hit the town. The city itself was dark and difficult to get a feel for. There was an active Corso (central area) and the farther we got from the train station the better the city got. We decided to hike up to the castle at the top of the hill and discovered a beautiful view of the architecture and colors of Trieste. Something we’d never have expected from our street view experience. The castle itself was built on the ancient roman ruins and has been carefully rebuilt and excavated to exhibit the artifacts from its past. In the upper floors of the castle were the remains of the armory, halberds, swords, pistols, cannon and then more intricate carved and etched weapons. Then the private chambers of the lord with wood releifs of the leading political men of their time. From there we delved into the catacombs and down into the dark, moist and cool areas below the castle. We were the only folks in the entire castle and the combinations of crushing silence, cold humid air and ancient artifacts left us with chills. We hiked out of the catacombs and returned to the humid seaside air. The sun bright on our shoulders we headed up onto the walls. From the view on the castle battlements (a hefty walk through the city and up the long costal mountains) we could view the entire city and decided to delve down toward the roman amphitheater. We wound our way down from the chapel outside the fortifications. As we decended the steep cobblestone streets we chanced upon the ruins of the amphitheater and a small market. We got some lunch from the Co-op and then marched back toward our hotel. Hungry and worn out from our long hike we meandered around seeking charitable fare. We found our meal at the Trattoria Cittá di Londra – a cute little place with renaissance paintings depicting Buckingham palace. We bought spaghetti and a mixed seafood plate and had a wonderful dinner. Stuffed and ready for bed we returned to our apartment and crashed.
Day Two Trieste: A little worn out and definitely in need of a break we took day two in Trieste slowly. We paid our land lady and commenced to wander out to Castle Miramar the home of Emperor Maximillion. We took the bus out to the castle and wandered through the park. Salami from the store in hand we hiked down to the first open garden overlooking the ocean, from there we wound our way through the trees and undergrowth around to Max’s house. A little castlesque home built of Istrian white Marble overlooking the bay and entry into Trieste. From there we hiked down and along the seaside path back toward Trieste. Filled with sun bathers and swimmers the hike was entertaining and enjoyable. We passed Triestes hostel and its residents enjoying the pebble beaches. The beauty of the gardens coupled with the stark contrast of the blue ocean and white marble of the palace evoked images of beauty and wealth. The hike along the protected pebble habitats full of sea life and humanity enjoying the gifts of nature was also a wonderful gift.