Off to Trieste

The super efficient airport shuttle not only deposited us at the airport on time, but with plenty of time to spare. Our flight was due to leave at 10:30 and we were there by 8:00. Going through security was speedy and efficient, but we found ourselves immediately in the shopping area for duty free. There was no Passport Control to go through now that Hungary is part of the Schengren Agreement. SkyEurope had us boarded and ready to go within minutes, though they had a flight come in from Trieste at 10:00. We arrived at our destination after 1 hour and 10 minutes. The airport is tiny, so there is no fear of getting lost. We bought bus tickets into town at the tourism office for 3.10 each and walked over to bus 51 to stow our suitcase.
More than once, I had a thought of “that is interesting, we should come back there to see that mosaic” or “an open café , we should check it out”, but the bus kept going and going. The other thought I had was, “Are we on the correct bus?” We have been known to get on the wrong trains and buses at times. While taking one hour to get into town, all of those places are closer to the airport than they are to Trieste. Let’s review – It took one hour-10 minutes to fly here; it took one hour to get from the airport. Our hotel, is one whole floor of a building, there are three such hotels within one building. It was an easy 10 minute walk from the bus station. The room is extra large, but with a shared bathroom. This is not a problem as there are three of them, two equipped with showers. They were reviewed by Frommer’s in 2003, but has not been seen since with gives me pause. After dumping our things, we walked around the city, noticing not much was open, but being Sunday, we did not think about it. The reception at the hotel suggested going closer to the waterfront to find a restaurant, or perhaps around the major square. There were a few open there, but not too crowded. Is this what Sundays are like? As often as we have been in Italy, I am not sure we have been here too many Sundays before. Just a short walk from the hotel, we ran into the stature of James Joyce. Joyce had lived here twice during his life. First he lived here from 1904 to 1915, and then again from 1919 to 1920 when he finished The Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The major square the Piazza Unita d’Italia is an umph experience with stunning architecture on three sides. Built in 1870, to the left is the Palazzo de Governo, Palazzo Stratti, Palazzo Modelo, the Town Hall, Palazzo Pitteri, and the Lloyd Triestion Palazzo. All of this overlooks the sea. At the waterfront, people were milling up and down the cement walkway again certifying Europeans as strollers. As families, as couples, as groups of friends, people were walking up and down the walkway, taking in the soothing view of the Gulf of Trieste. Still, it was not crowded as one would expect for the end of summer. When we rode in on the bus, we noticed a number of people sunbathing on a concrete platform along the sea. Only one or two people were actually in the water at any given beach. There is not a beach to speak of, mostly rocks you climb down into the water. It certainly is not inducing to sunbathe if you cannot easily go for a dip to cool off, but the Italians are sunworshippers. I know from family history. We by chance decided on a restaurant where the waitress working was from California up until nine years ago, she lives here now. She suggested we go to a bar “where there are other people like you”. We were not quite sure what that meant. What kind of people? We had just told her we lived in Hungary, where there other ex-pats living in Hungary there? Where there other Americans as bar guest? She once again reiterated that there would be people we would like at this particular bar and than added there are lots of “those” types of bars around the city. Interesting. She discovered all this from two orders of eggplant Parmesan and a few questions about where the best pastry shop in town happened to be. By the way, the eggplant was good, but the sauce needed to cook more. Even Ron, a non-Italian could tell it was not ready yet. As it turned out the pastry shop was the most highly rated by the tourism board as being historic, but it is closed for the month of August. We gave in to our early hour start of the day, and went back for a nap. We had to get rid of that jet lag from that hour long flight. Within minutes, I was out and stayed out for three hours. After I revived from that drugged feeling I get when I oversleep, we took off to explore the city on a Sunday night. After wandering for an hour, looking at menus, we decided on one for pizzas. I had the thrill of years when I found a pizza with sausage, sweet peppers, cheese, and tomatoes. The highlight was the sausage, though not enough, it was real Italian sausage, something I had been hunting for the last four trips to different Italian cities and have not found. The peppers were sweet peppers like I have grown accustomed to in the US, but never find in Hungary. Ice cream, an Italian tradition, is not to be by-passed. As we were wandering back to the hotel, we by chance passed a large parlor of frozen delights. The pistachio screamed out to me and then there was this other flavor bufala, which was intriguing. I had both in a cup. Pistachios were more abundant than the ice cream itself, but I did not complain. My mission this trip is not to leave with any regrets. It will be tough, but I will have to have ice cream, pasta, and pizza as often as possible.We could not find any WiFi cafes or Internet cafes in the city. At the hotel, the young crew did not know of any either. What gives Italy?Some pictures will be added by the weekend.