Thursday 26th September We Farewell Piran, Ferry to Trieste, Swim in the Sea and Marvel at Miramare. - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 3 - CycleBlaze

September 26, 2019

Thursday 26th September We Farewell Piran, Ferry to Trieste, Swim in the Sea and Marvel at Miramare.

The sunshine has returned to Pran. We enjoy the experience of Katja’s final breakfast- the scrambled eggs with finely chopped vegetables and fresh herbs, the fruit smoothie, the mellow coffee.

After packing and loading our bikes, it’s time to go. We farewell Katja and head along the, by now well known, cycle path to Piran’s main wharf. Once there, it’s pleasant waiting in the sunshine for the hydrofoil boat to appear. Other passengers begin to arrive, including the Canadian chap and his wife who took our photo a couple of days back in Slovenia. They have come down to Piran via Stanjel and Divaca. 

Capable Katya
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Waiting for the ferry
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Our ride to Trieste
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It feels relaxed chatting about something you’ve accomplished - so different from the edgy anticipation of mulling over a challenging route one’s about to take on. Ann chats to another Canadian woman who relates tales of outdoor cycling and trekking in Canada’s backwoods.

Eventually our ferry arrives. It’s a sleek looking beast that hardly looks wide enough for passengers and bikes. The friendly chap who sold us our tickets at the tourist office has come down and a young guy with a ponytail and a black manbag comes beetling along the jetty on his moped, helmet askew- he’s in charge of the gangway and ropes. For a few moments it’s a lively spot. The boarding process is relatively painless- we put our bikes on first and then our bags. 

The passage is smooth and fast and we have views of the low-lying Grado area south and Koper and Trieste appearing before us. Trieste docks have buildings that seem as though they would have been there when my father Frank stopped off as part of the New Zealand army in 1945. Soon we are clear of the port buildings- and cycling alongside the canal. 

Loading up on Trieste dock.
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Heading into town along the canal.
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Heading to the beach
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R and R in Trieste
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It’s a short ride along Via Udine to our apartment where we meet the owner and move in. A great relief is in the discovery that it is a roomy ground floor apartment and we can wheel our bikes straight in - so uncomplicated! After lunch we’re off to the beach- well Miramare castle is our ultimate goal, but the paved path along the coastline has 5 kilometres of clear blue Adriatic with access for swimming. It’s so pleasant to swim and sit drying in an autumnal sun that warms but doesn’t fry.

Later, we cycle the rest of the path to Maximilian’s castle and enjoy a walk around the gardens in the warm evening air. The sun is lowering and the sea is turning to fire. Maximilian was an unfortunate chap - he was younger brother to the Emperor Franz Josef and had led a successful existence in the navy  until persuaded by France’s Napoleon 3rd to become Emperor of Mexico. He lasted from 1864 till 1867 when for a variety of reasons the whole idea turned to custard and he was captured, imprisoned and executed by the official Mexican Government. He was just 35. A tragic turn of events for himself and his wife Charlotte, back in Europe, who became insane.

Castle Miramare
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Maximilian was supposedly shipwrecked on the site where the castle now stands and decided to make it the setting for his home. It’s a fairy tale style of building and yet it’s tempting to enjoy the thought of what it might be like to live there, so close to the Adriatic and set at the edge of such beautiful gardens and fountains. Unfortunately, even Maximilian only had time to dream of living there, as it was only just finished in 1864, the year he left for Mexico.

We turn our backs on Miramare and the setting sun, and head back on the path towards Trieste. The last swimmers are ploughing along creating ruffles on a still sea, but we are heading back to the city and bed.

Today's ride: 12 km (7 miles)
Total: 2,567 km (1,594 miles)

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