The rainy weather continued so we took a taxi to catch the train to Trieste, Italy. The lady at the hotel reception desk called the taxi for us and said it shouldn’t cost more than five euros for the short ride to the station. Sure enough when we got to the station the taxi driver said the fare was four euros. We gave him a tip and we were all happy.
Unlike the train stations in Vienna and Graz, this station was old and run down. The elevator wasn’t working when we arrived three days ago and still wasn’t working. With no escalators we had to haul our luggage down the steps into the station tunnel. Three days ago we had to haul our luggage up the steps. Even worse. They did have an interesting conveyor belt to move your luggage up or down the next set of steps to the train platform. You place your luggage on the conveyor belt and walk up or down the steps beside it. Too bad they don’t have the conveyor belt for all the steps.
Unlike the trains from Vienna and Graz, this train was crowded. Once again we were in a compartment with six seats, but every seat was taken. Even worse, Bill had to hoist the luggage into the luggage racks overhead. With rain on the windows and since we did not have window seats, we didn’t get any pictures from the train on the three hour ride. Eventually one person left and then another, and it was just us and one other couple. They were from Brazil and were shy to try to speak any English. Eventually the ice broke and we had a great time talking with them. Since we know zero Portuguese, we were impressed with their English skills. They love to travel and their dream is to live in Portugal.
The last hour flew by and we arrived in Trieste, Italy (pop 204,000). Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy on the Adriatic Sea. Trieste is one of the largest and most important harbors on the Adriatic Sea. We had booked an apartment here for two nights and it was close enough to walk to even though it was drizzling rain. We had raincoats and an umbrella. No big deal. It was a great place with a sitting area, kitchen with microwave and mini fridge, large bedroom, and best of all a washing machine. No dryer but a fold up drying rack was sufficient as things dried quickly. We spent most of one day washing clothes and getting a few groceries for breakfast and snacks. They had an Aldi grocery store in Trieste. In Austria and Slovenia they had Hofer grocery stores which is another name for Aldi. They all looked just like the Aldi store I shop at in Florida.
Trieste’s popularity and growth is due to its recent focus as a cruise ship port. In the past, most cruise ships in the region sailed out of Venice. In 2021, Venice closed its doors to berthing many large cruise ships due to rising water levels around the city. The ancient streets were at risk of crumbling and congestion from port traffic was increasing. The answer lay in the deep water port of Trieste.
Trieste is a mix of Mediterranean and central European heritage. The Unity of Italy Square is the main square in Trieste with the most spectacular architecture in the city that is a mix of Austria and Italy influence.
Sigmund Freud and author James Joyce lived in Trieste. There is a statue of James Joyce located in one of the town squares near the “canal”.
Canal Grande is a beautiful building located near the plaza. It dates back to the mid 18th century.
All along the plaza and canal areas are churches, palaces and other buildings dating to the first half of the 19th century.
Trieste has a beautiful waterfront area where people enjoy strolling throughout the day and evenings.
There are many more things to see than we had time for in our two days there. Our reason for traveling to Trieste was to catch a cruise ship for a Mediterranean cruise to Greece and Turkey (which as of June, 2022 is now spelled “Turkiye”). So on May 18th we boarded the MSC Splendida for a nine day cruise.
Its time to leave when you see the pilot boat
The first full day was a sea day. The next day we were supposed to stop at the port of Katakolon, Greece where we had booked an excursion to the archeological site of Olympia where the ancient Olympic games were held every four years from 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. We were actually all ready to go and waiting for our bus to be called when the captain came on the loudspeaker to announce the port had to be aborted. Strong winds, which were going to increase later in the day, would make it unsafe for the shop to get out of the port. It was a big disappointment and caught us all by surprise. Instead we had another day at sea.
Next up: A much anticipated visit to Athens, the Acropolis and the Parthenon.