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Trieste, Italy

❤️

Day 1

It’s Trieste time!!

When I arrive, my first feeling is one of anxiety. There’s something about the (gorgeous) neoclassical architecture that just isn’t working for me, and I dont know what it is.

Until, after a few hours, I understand my issue: Trieste is tiny Vienna. Nothing against Vienna – in fact, I love that city. But I’m in Italy! I miserably failed to gather any kind of information before going to Trieste and didn’t realize I was stepping into a new country without leaving Italy. Now that that’s settled, I can relax and adjust. (Spoiler: my brain did not adjust, and as much as I enjoyed the pretty city, I did not manage to speak Italian at all.)

A view from the pier of the Trieste shoreline, on a very sunny day.

When I arrive, I’m feeling under the weather so I check in at the hotel and immediately go for a nap.

My bedroom is exactly as cringe as I hoped based on the online photos (but also extremely comfy and luxurious!!).

A fancy hotel room, but the wall says « Passion and hard work lead to results », a quote attributed to Giuliana Trevisiol Borin.

At 3pm I haven’t been able to fall asleep, I’m bored and decide to go for a walk. Then I end up doing the entire tour that I had originally planned. Then I walk a bit more. Then I have dinner (the local specialty seems to be sauerkraut, which rubs me the wrong way, and the one I have isn’t really good either) and walk again.

While checking the time of tomorrow’s ride, I see that my train has disappeared and have to book one at 7pm or at 8am. Looks like I won another day in Trieste – when you travel Interrail, you have to stay flexible!

From my walking tour, I will keep a few memories. First, the beautiful churches of all kinds, from the medieval catholic church on top of the hill to this Serbian Orthodox one.

On a very sunny day, a very pale church with golden details.

There’s also the old town, it’s not all neoclassical: the mix of genres is really cute, including this view from the ducal gardens. Lilac smell not included in the photo, but very powerful in real life.

On a very sunny day, a view of a Southern European town and of the sea below, from a balcony in a public park.

One thing that shocks me is that Trieste doesn’t have beaches. The pier is gorgeous, but in this weather and right by the sea, I would have given a lot to lie down on a towel and let the day fly by!

A sunset. Closer to the person taking the photo, there is a pier with a bunch of people's dark silhouettes. Some are sitting, some are standing alone or in groups. Everything is reflected on the sea between the pier and the photographer.

Stats

Steps : 13 754, it seems that whatever I do I physically cannot stop myself from walking
Train: 2h05 today, 849km total

Day 2: Miramar castle

The « hotel room with an inspirational quote for the meme » backfires spectacularly when I wake up at 2am thinking of all the things that can go wrong at work when I’m out and things I really need to settle when I come back. It takes me a couple of hours to calm my brain and go back to sleep.

At 7am, I have woken up and am ready for my day: today, I’ll go to Miramare castle. It’s right next to the town of Prosecco, which I had always imagined more in the South of Italy.

For the first time of my trip, and hopefully not the last, I whip out the sunscreen before going out. It’s sunny and warm, I have my beach tote bag with me (a pair of flip flops, a towel, my bathing suit and sunscreen, that is) and decide to go to the waterfront in the morning before my castle visit.

The bus is full, and when I say it’s full, I mean two buses pass and I can’t get inside them because there are two many people. At four buses per hour, it’s been a while and I end up walking a few stops earlier to finally press myself against the bus door, but from the inside this time.

When I make it to the waterfront, I have two thoughts:

  • Finally, some air.
  • There is no beach.

The « beach » is actually a slab of cement with a staircase leading to the water. I’m so annoyed by this that I end up reading on a bench in the sun and not even attempting to bathe… and it’s wonderful!

Later on, there is a beach, but it’s a protected area operated by the WWF. Good for them, and it’s really pretty.

On a very sunny day, a small rocky beach protected by a wall.

Finally, I get to the castle, three hours after leaving the hotel. It’s gorgeous even as I see it from afar.

A white castle just above the sea.

There are so many people at the castle, I almost give up on my visit. That’s really normal: it’s a sunny Sunday, probably one of the first of the year, during the Easter holidays, and the first Sunday of the month which means that museums are free.

The sea, as seen from a window of the castle, with only a bush separating the building from the water.

In the end, while the inside of the castle is nice, it’s really the views that make the visit worthwhile. I spend about half an hour strolling around the castle, my favourite part being the beautiful botanical books exhibition, and make my way to the gardens.

The gardens with a pathway that leads directly into the sea, as seen from the first floor window, with hills further down.

What really makes my day, though, is when I get to the giant gardens and find a very quiet bench that almost feels like there is nobody around. I read there for another couple of hours.

It’s exactly the break I’ve needed for the past couple of days and my mood lifts almost immediately. Finally, some nature and places that aren’t crowded!

On a sunny day, a small forest and hills.

At the end of the day, I go back to the hotel, grab my bag, and jump on a train to Slovenia.

On the train, I meet Olivia, an English girl who also has an Interrail pass. We talk a lot, for three hours straight in fact. During the trip, we talk about period management when travelling, our shared dislike of tampons, and the fact that in my opinion, moon cups are the least bad solutions. We wonder if period blood attracts bears when you’re camping, and realize that there are no good protections while camping – either you have to walk around with a bag of used pads or you need to empty your cup somewhere. Life is hard for the bleeding folk!

We arrive at the Ljubljana train station at 10pm and leave, not sharing contacts. We’re still going to almost the exact same places for the next few days, so we might run into each other again, but we’re not trying to turn this into a long-lasting friendship or whatever, and I really appreciate that. Also, I feel really energized by this great conversation – I haven’t really talked with anyone since Torino and it’s been a bit hard!

By night, the Ljubljana train station sign on a quay.

I check into my hotel (it’s amazing), let myself fall on the bed and fall asleep near immediately. This has been a very long day, and I’ve finally finished phase one of my trip: Italy. I’m entering phase 2: places where I can’t read signs. This will be the toughest, but also more « new », part of the trip, and I’m really excited to start. But first, I really need to rest!

Stats

  • Steps: 17 576
  • Train: 2h50 (total 947km)
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Commentaire / Comment

Commenter

  1. Replied to Trieste by Alex (alexsirac.com)

    My bedroom is exactly as cringe as I hoped based on the online photos (but also extremely comfy and luxurious!!).

    Amazing 😆 Definitely the sentiment people on vacation want to be thinking about.

    I like finding hotels that are a bit weird but it can be tough (and often pricey)!