Friday 27th, Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th September Trieste Time - Retyrement on 2 Wheels - CycleBlaze

September 28, 2019

Friday 27th, Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th September Trieste Time

Friday: This morning we walk to the centre to meet one of Michael’s past students, Sara, who is now a post doctoral bio-tech researcher in Trieste. 

Before meeting in Piazza Oberdan we visit the Risorgimento Museo and look at the military uniforms and weaponry from the 19th century to the end of WW1. You have to admit they had snazzy uniforms compared with the ‘sandpaper suits’ we had to wear as cadets at school. The piazza is named after Guglielmo Oberdan a Slovenian who attempted to assassinate 

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Emperor Franz Josef and was executed for his pains.

Meeting Sara again is wonderful. At lunch we have lots to talk about and learn so much about life in Trieste, Sara’s work and how she manages here. She is able to take us to somewhere easy and local to eat and we have cannelloni and spinach and a carafe of vino rosso. 

After lunch and despite, or perhaps because of, the vino Rosso, we walk up the Scala Dei Giganti to the castle and cathedral which overlook the city. The cathedral has side altars with inlaid mosaic ceilings which are beautiful. The main altar is similar except that the mosaic is of a more modern era and has a slightly purplish hue which didn’t quite work for us.

Down in the main piazza, preparations are underway for a Science Fair/Exhibition. There are many students about for this and the Climate Change march earlier. 

We explore for a while, visit the tourist office and the head back to our Via Udine ‘home’ for ratatouille, potatoes and salad.

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Saturday : Out for an early walk this morning. Don’t you love Italians- at the bar knocking back minuscule coffees, on the road blasting their horns,  and what about talking - the women at the beach where we went swimming could talk for hours and so energetically!

 

We decide to ride to Opicina, up in the hills above Trieste and close to the part of Slovenia we were cycling in a few days ago. We head out to Miramare and then up beyond San Croce. There are a few steep bits here, but we soon find the ridge and the main road which continues on the level for about 10 kilometres to Prosecco and then Opicina. Opicina itself is a little underwhelming. My father, Frank, who spent some time in Trieste at the end of WW2, has just recently, at age 98 regaled us with the story of his experience which might be labelled’The Opicina Incident’.  Part of his brigade were assigned to take into captivity a number of German soldiers besieged by Yugoslavian partisans at Villa Opicina. Because the German officer in charge declined the NZ help, they were left to the mercy of the partisans and the NZ soldiers returned to Trieste. The official history makes interesting and sometimes amusing reading. Tragically though, one NZ soldier was killed. Though we were unable to find any evidence of this event, apart from seeing the barracks with the slightly tatty Italian flag, the understanding the it took place high above the city adds a new reality to the tale.

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After lunching undercover, as rain threatens, we head down to the city, taking the picturesque, paved route, a mistake, because with a 23% gradient it’s impossible to cycle down. On the other hand, we do meet 2 young chaps with loaded tourers cycling up! The route though, takes us almost right to our back door on via Udine. Home in time for tea!

Sunday: Our final day in Trieste, we spend swimming and taking a farewell spin around the harbour side. It’s a Sunday and so everyone is out. The passaggio still seems to be the thing to do and so we buy a frutti di bosco gelato and people watch. It’s gratifying to see so many elderly, particularly women, dressed so neatly in sensible shoes stockings, straight skirts and little fitted jackets, out on their own or accompanied by family. 

Then it’s home and planning the next step towards Venice. The SS14 looks like the only option so we hope it’s not going to be too busy. Distance is a little uncertain but we think we can make Grado easily enough. 

Dinner is fresh pasta, the last of the ratatouille and insalata verde.

Today's ride: 32 km (20 miles)
Total: 2,599 km (1,614 miles)

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Mary HutchingI don't think the German officer declined the kiwis help. Far from it. From what Dad said the Germans were very keen to surrender to the Kiwis but the Yugoslavs would not let them. The NZ commander decided they weren't going to fight over it and marched the troops out again. Dad said the one thing he felt bad about was there were German women in uniform there and he thought they would have had a bad time once they surrendered.
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3 months ago
Mary HutchingI'll get Em to read thos before she goes to Trieste.
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3 months ago