Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Road Trip to Trieste 7-11-09

Tim and I took a road trip to Trieste over the weekend. After waiting for 45 minutes in traffic to get through the tollway, we were rewarded with striking views of cliffs and the Adriatic Sea!

Trieste is a sea side city on the Adriatic Coast with awesome views of Slovenia across the bay. Our first stop in Trieste was the Acquario Marino in the Pescheria building. The aquarium was deceptively small and not worth even a quick visit.

Next we wandered through the streets. The Mercado Coperto, which is open daily on Carducci downtown, sells all types of fruits, vegetables and other local food products. After a brief stop in the Piazza Unità d'Italia and marveling at the Palazzo del Governo, the Palace of the Government, built in Neo-Renaissance style by Emil Artman in 1905, we were ready to settle on a place to have lunch.

We wandered just outside of the Piazza (go right if you are facing the square with your back to the ocean) and had lunch at an outdoor cafe. I had the spaghetti vongole (von-goal-ay), which was outstanding! The spaghetti was in a white wine and butter sauce, with diced roma tomatoes and white wine steamer clams. Tim had the pizza diavola (spicy salami) but the center was soggy.

With our tummies full, we made our way back to the car and made the short drive to Castello Miramare, built by the Habsburg Archduke Maximiliam in 1856 as his summer retreat. We toured the interior of the castle, then wandered through the gardens and park.
After our GPS took up us a very steep road, which was closed at the top, we followed the signs out of Trieste and to the Grotta Gigante, the world's largest show cave according to the Guiness Book of World Records. In order to see the huge cavern, large enough to hold a cathedral, you must descend 500 stairs down into the cavern. We had a tour in both Italian and English before ascending the 500 stairs back up out of the massive cavern. No pictures are allowed as the light causes moss to grow in the cavern.
Tied from a long day of walking, climbing, and sightseeing, we headed home. The rain even held out until the drive back making for a glorius day in Trieste!

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