In Michael’s research, he had come across a nearby hotel that offered breakfast for 10 euros each (just over AU$15). Although we could easily have purchased supplies and made our own, the reviews were excellent, and as our accommodation cost only $100/night, Michael decided that we could afford to splurge, and so had pre-booked our breakfasts for two mornings. The only problem was that this place was rather difficult to find! Sharing my umbrella to shield us from the light rain, we wandered up and down the street looking for a door that might lead to a hotel. Eventually, Michael looked up the number on his iPad and we were able to locate the entrance. If you didn’t know, you would never suspect that upstairs inside was a small, but very flash, restaurant/bar. I imagine that it is mostly frequented by its hotel guests.
The beautifully presented breakfast deserves a mention — served on a two-tiered tray laden with fruit, toast, croissants, etc. with hard-boiled eggs on the side; and as many cappuccinos as we wished (even decaffeinated soy!).
Breakfast (and lunch!) over, we returned to our apartment to deposit our iPads and check the ferry timetable, having decided that we should travel to Miramare Castle by boat in the morning. The rain had eased, but the forecast for the day wasn’t particularly good.
The windy trip gave us a good view of Trieste and then Miramare Castle, even though everything did look a little flat due to the lack of sunshine. I decided to pay the extra 4 euros for the audio guide for our tour of the castle — it helps to have some understanding of what one is looking at, and the information boards in each room only provided minimal details. The castle was built from 1856 to 1860 for Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium, later Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota of Mexico. The ground floor was built for the family to live in and was designed to resemble the ship that the archduke had sailed in his expeditions around the world.
After wandering through some of the rambling garden, we found our way up to the main road, emerging on to it right near a bus stop with the bus we needed to catch pulling up within a minute — perfect timing!
We alighted at the railway station and headed over to the adjacent bus station where we purchased tickets for our trip to Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia) for the following afternoon. Then it was off to Aldi to buy some supplies for dinner, a stop-off at our apartment to freshen up. As we crossed the road from Aldi to our apartment, a convoy of police cars and motorcycles wizzed past us, with their sirens blaring. An official waving a red flag directed them down the road next to our building.
After a short stop at the apartment, we set off on foot in the rain that had now set in to visit the San Giusto Castle that overlooks the city. We visited all the museum rooms in the castle (the displays included weapons and remnants of stone statues, mozaic floors, plaques and pillars), peeked inside the adjacent basilica, and then checked out the Art & Culture Museum before wandering back to the city centre past the remains of an old city gate or part of an ancient aqueduct (no one knows for sure).
My feet and legs were a little achy by the time we arrived back at our apartment. Michael cooked us a delicious meal of tortellini with a basil sauce and salad which tasted just as good as any restaurant meal, I’m sure — but at a fraction of the price.
Exhausted, we crawled into bed at about 9pm.