Saturday, May 24, 2014

Trieste - Secondo (Second)

While Darrell was in meetings on Wednesday, I took a bus along the coast to Castle Miramare. This beautiful castle has an interesting history. It was built by Maximillian between 1856 and 1860. After WWII, the Americans used the castle as their base in this region from 1947 to 1954 in the post-war efforts.

Castle Miramare
The area is now a park, partially due to the foresight of Maximillian who had it reforested. The marine waters around it are also protected. There were school groups touring the small aquarium in the Castellita (little Castle) and learning about local species of invertebrates and fish.

I walked back to Trieste along a paved coastal path. Many people had parked on the side of the road and were picnicking and sunbathing. There were cafĂ©’s every few hundred meters if you needed a beer or an espresso. I loved seeing the older people playing cards in their bathing suits! This is at least part of "la bella vita" (the good life) in Italy.

La bella vita in Trieste
Thursday, I walked to the bus station via some Roman ruins. Notice the SuperCoop (store) in the background. The city just built itself around the ruins, and over ruins, and certainly used Roman stones in the new construction.

Roman architectural remains
I took bus 42 to the top of the limestone bluffs behind Trieste and entered the larger tourist cave in the world - 365,000 cubic meters. St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome could fit inside it. The cave is unique in primarily being one vast chamber. You can find a youtube video of someone base jumping in the cave. I walked down 500 steps into the grotto, behind a large group of noisy Italian middle schoolers and their harried teachers, and then circled around and took a different 500 steps out. It isn't exquisite like the well-preserved Kartchner Caverns in Arizona because it has been "explored" since its first discovery in 1840 by countless people.

Seeing into the depths of the grotto
After the 11 degrees C in the cave, it was great to get back out into the sunshine. I got a caprese sandwich from a street vendor and headed to the local "beach" where there is no sand, but very rounded beach rocks. It keeps the sand out of your shorts, but isn't too comfortable for sitting on! It is refreshing to see topless women without any self-consciousness because it is so normal and natural here. No one bats an eye and all body types are allowed!

The rocky beach at Trieste

That night was a delicious dinner at Lanterna, the lighthouse, which had been converted to an upscale restaurant. Another huge part of the la bella vita!

No comments:

Post a Comment