A Small Detour on the Way to the Beach
On the way to the Mediterranean Coast (a funny thing happened) we stopped by a horse farm, not just any horse farm but Lipica. This is the stud farm established in 1580 which breeds and raises the famous Lipizzaner dancing horses of the Spanish riding school which we visited last year on our adventure in Vienna, Austria.
Importantly, the colts are born dark colored but due to a genetic condition lose pigmentation over the first few years of life resulting in the beautiful white stallions we are accustomed to seeing. There is something serenely comforting for me standing there “luving” on this sweet baby.
I suppose it has much to do with my not so secret lifelong passion for these magnificent creatures and my frequent need for “horse therapy”. The good news is they have a horse sale hmmm….I wonder just how difficult it is to import him into Argentina I can just see it now “I was on vacation in Europe and fell in LOVE with a horse so I am going to be needing an import permit for him“. Perhaps the better solution is I can just purchase a place in Fairytale land to keep my new LUV it would probably be a lot less hassle and much, much cheaper. This plan (fairytale dream) is getting better all the time: sweet chalet in the Alps Mountains overlooking a crystal clear turquoise lake, complete with my own White Horse….I like where this is going.
Beauty Beyond Words Fantastic. Blue water, warm golden rays of sunshine shining down on me. My first trip to the Adriatic could not have been on a more perfect flawless day. Oh how I love the water……
The first town on the Mediterranean Coast visited was Koper, Slovenia. We were suppose to visit Piran; however, there was a small slight change of plans due to the 30km traffic jam caused by the rest of Europe needing to get to the coast as well. Look Europeans you are interrupting my fairy dream with reality in the form of a traffic jam that is pretty unacceptable. Koper is located in southwestern Slovenia on the country’s 47km coastline about 1.5hours from Ljubljana (without white horse fantasy farm detour).
So, it is a beautiful sunny warm flawless day what is one to do when at the beach without a swimsuit? (Well as I quickly learned a swimsuit is minimal amounts of material for the young and old alike). Yes the most perfect plan ever: sit at a terrace café in the sun overlooking the water, enjoying the show around us, all while enjoying yes you know it beer and cake (tiramisu) no need for actual food. What a lovely way to pass an afternoon at the beach.
Next stop on the coastal tour is actually in Italy near Trieste. Miramare Castle built in the 19th century for Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria on the Gulf of Trieste. An especially cozy smaller castle, Slovenia land of my grown up fairytale has approximately 500 castles some of which can even today be purchased by individuals. OK wait I can actually buy a castle in Fairytale land…Really? Took the tour of the castle and the lady looked a bit surprised when after about 35 minutes we returned the headphones for the guided tour: I tried to listen to it all really I did but all those history facts, dates and architectural details were testing my attention span. Realistically my brain thinks only in numbers and equations so for my career it is perfect but for enjoying tours and museums not so much.
The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which can be enjoyed while having coffee at small cafe tables near the sea. This is much more my thing taking it all in through observation.
There is also beautiful views of the sea from the castle itself and even more enjoyable from the castle’s private marina. Sit near the sea in the sun while waiting for Prince Charming to arrive on his big white boat….waiting…waiting…….waiting…..
Thats enough of that moving on now.
My first adventure into Italy and this by itself was exciting enough for me. I completely get this isn’t the Italy I dreamt of visiting for my whole life…hint hint for my travel partner in crime…but for now it will do. Exploring the city, taking in the sites, a bit of shoe shopping there is always room for new shoes in the not quite full travel bag.
Hey you know this is the perfect chance for me to practice my Italian, which I have been perfecting for the past 8 months now.“Yes there is a story here: Last New Years Day (2013) while on the cruise to the end of the world (Buenos Aires-Antarctica-Patagonia-Chilean Fjords-Santiago) I was standing on the deck of the ship as it snowed watching penguins and whales play in the water when an older gentleman asked “me where the whales and penguins were” so he could show his wife. I was a bit confused because it sounded to me like he was mixing Spanish and Portuguese so I just did the natural thing and answered him in Spanish cause hey it was easier for me. So, I next asked him if he was from Argentina or Brazil because he was for sure mixing the languages and he laughed and replied no he was Italian….Nice…..great…love it when things like that happen. So I just smile, shrug my shoulders and give him that “Soy inocente” look and realize the best outcome ever I got this Italian language as well….My language skills are getting really great improving dramatically as long as I know which one someone else is speaking.”
Additionally, I can have a traditional northern Italian lunch of grilled fresh fish served with pasta in olive oil pesto sauce and the best part of all gelato for dessert. Really who knew asking for a sundae was going to be so difficult. It is those words you don’t have when you need them as you stand there with this crazy blank look on your face trying to find it in your memory. Hey incredibly tall Dutch man you lived in Italy for like 3 years and actually know Italian HELP ME OUT HERE…all while he stands there grinning like the Cheshire Cat letting me just sweat it out. Yes he is enjoying this way too much and I am not sure if that is “evil” grin or this is “super amusing” grin.
Good news is got the sundae bad news or perhaps just extra better news it was about 3 times the actual size I wanted. The key to languages is just to own them be confident in what your saying even when the person you are talking to looks at you like you have two heads. Believe me there will be substantial lost in translation moments but at least you will have something to laugh about long after the adventure is over and really isn’t it just about the memories you take away.