I had a pending invitation of friend of mine to visit Trieste where she currently resides. So when I realized (towards the end of the year) that I still have some vacation days remaining at work, I decided to see what a sea looks like in not-a-summer (the only way I knew it previously).
- I arrived quite relaxed (people could understand English (except for one lady
navigating me) and I had valid money.)
- The only glitch was 2 hours delayed plane of an unnamed Hungarian airline, therefore I travelled almost whole day including transport in Prague and trains from Treviso to Trieste.
- Trains were timely, impression was combination of old Czech and modern Czech
(clean, ergonomic seats, aged windows and outer parts)
- speed ~100 km/h (don’t know exactly)
- I crossed crowded tourist path from Treviso (airport) to Venice (popular destination).
- Train observations:
- Agricultural region, water channels and polders.
- Vineyards, palms, cycases and regular grid forests.
- All churches in the region (Friuli Venezia Giulia) have confusingly same towers (tall, thin, square cross-section and pyramid-shaped tips).
- Agricultural region, water channels and polders.
- Piazza di Unita – huge and open to the sea
- While waiting for a ferry to Muggia, I noticed a weirdo couple who were meditating/praying on the pier (“mumbly rubmly, mumbly rumbly, …”).
- Narrow crooked street, little church.
- I started to climb and I quickly got to a residential quarter (detached houses, very calm, no pavement, nice views to Trieste Bay).
- I passed by a church and a cemetery (Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta) on the hill, enjoying the view of Trieste and its industrial area (metalurgy?).
- Lazzaretto (it)/Lazaret (sl)
- I descended back to the sea level and took a nap on a “beach” while waiting for bus.
- Koper (sl)/Capodistria (it)
- The biggest town on Slovenian coast (i.e. ~50 km).
- I walked through the historical center (Titov trg) and got to the port.
- The center is neatly packed with picturesque historical (yet tourist) streets.
- I was petrified by cargo ships that were like skyscrapers that could just move away.
- Decades of standardization that allowed effective planning and scheduling realized by cranes (un)loading the container cargo ships. (I learnt about the transport corporation.)
- I also saw a huge parking lot filled with hundreds of cars waiting to be loaded or dispatched to trains.
- Later I met many schoolkids, realizing later that I was near a grammar school.
- I finished my visit by a stop at Café Triglav (surely because of the name).
- In the evening, I went with my hosts to a social gathering in their Italian colleagues’ cozy flat tasting various regional goodies.
- I spent morning at scientific facility where my friends work (actually I
met there another group of Czechs during their beam time).
- It is for experiments, however, the infrastructure (synchrotron) is already
finished and serves as a huge shared instrument (mainly source of top
grade X-ray radiation).
- If you read the Feynman Lectures on Physics you know accelerating charge produces electric field. Now consider all the relativstic effects for almost-speed-of-light electrons and you will understand synchrotron.
- I also learnt about the free-electron laser, cool thing producing even more tunable radiation than synchrotron. I can’t help but the principle resembles washboard.
- It is for experiments, however, the infrastructure (synchrotron) is already finished and serves as a huge shared instrument (mainly source of top grade X-ray radiation).
- In the afternoon I headed to a guided tour through Škocjanske
When I was told there is an underground river, I was sceptic since I already
visited Punkevní jeskyně.
There is no comparison and no wonder Škocjanske jame are enlisted as UNESCO
since 1986. You just walk a bridge over a river canyon, 40 meters above the
water level – all this is underground!
Nearby Škocjan village is also worth visiting, 90 m deep open abyss literally
fitting a house backyard backyard is breathtaking.
- Interestingly, there were no Slovenes in the group – mostly Italians, Czechs and Slovaks (enjoying the “prolonged weekend”).
- What I realized only later was that Lipica I passed by in incredible fog is the famous origin of the Lipica horse breed.
- I was lucky to join another social event of my friends in true Italian pizzeria.
- Saturday was a day when bad weather forecast came true so we had to cancel mountain trip and fell back to urban tourism instead.
- Firstly, we visited a brutal church. This is how I imagine a church built by communists (don’t be mistaken, it was built by Italians in the 1960s). There is nice view on great part of seacoast and the building itself changes colors depending on sunlight direction (observed from the coast).
- Surprisingly, a boundary between waters of different salinity was clearly observable close to river mouths. (I also learnt about sea farming.)
- From heaven-like heights we descendent back to the sea to a castle reminding the famous times of not-so-landlocked Austria-Hungary.
- Also the old port.
- Walking to train station was the fastest option on Sunday morning.
- High water (relatively) on Soča (it: Isonzo) river.
- Shipyards in Monfalcone.
- Bus from the railway station in Treviso to the airport took ~25 minutes. The bus rode every hour on Sunday, namely 11:40. Check-in (I had a baggage) closed at 12:10. Many thanks to employees of the Treviso Airport who were very nice all desperate Czechs that Sunday.
- thick almost creamy soup (onion, leek, butter -> boil -> blend)
- Aperol drink, spritz
- pasta alla norma,
- melanzana = eggplant, milanese = fried steak (Schnitzel)
- café is not a drug but a pastime (thus they’re little compared to Czech ones)
- road cyclists
- high/low tide
- very nice weather, very bad weather (warm though)
- no clicking noise of traffic lights
- not taking off shoes indoors
- pastry is sold for weight
- Carabinieri vs Polizia (force independent from government)
- rich social life of synchrotron employees in contrast(?) with high dedication (once you have your beamtime…)
- packed parking in the streets of Trieste