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This morning we awoke by 5:30 with a plan to “touch base” in Slovenia by taking a taxi to and from the small town of Sezana. Clearly, in doing so, we won’t be doing Slovenia justice. But, at the same time, this wasn’t our original plan, and I fully expect we will return. At present, I’m just trying to make lemonade out of the circumstances of 1) the change of port, and 2) the limited duration of the visit (due to, we learned yesterday, some sort of multi-country presidential event closing down access to the port facilities later in the day).

The plan specifically called for:

1. Find a taxi at the port
2. Find an English-speaking taxi driver
3. Drive to Sezana.
4. Return directly to Trieste.

That was the plan. And, largely we followed it… except for difficulties in finding a taxi, an inability to communicate with our driver, being driven (without request) into the Slovenian countryside, and my being hit by a car while in the aforementioned Slovenian countryside (I’m perfectly fine, Mom!).

All in all, it was the best day ever!

Here’s how it actually played out:

1. No taxis were available at the port. We had to walk to the train station. En route, we found a lone taxi sitting at a stand.

2. The taxi driver did not speak English. However, I was fairly certain he understood what we wanted (thank you, Google Maps). And, I negotiated a rate… 30 euro (one way or roundtrip was unclear). So, we departed for Sezana!

3. The drive to Sezana was blissfully uneventful. The driver even stopped on a hillside overlook to allow me to take a picture of Trieste and its harbor. We arrived in Sezana within 15 minutes or so.

Sezana is a fairly unremarkable, modestly industrial town. It lacks any real points of touristic interest. We took a couple of quick pictures (of the post office or some such thing) and the told the (now confused) driver to take us back to Trieste.

4. The return to Trieste is when things started to get interesting. We left Slovenia and reentered Italy. Then we entered Slovenia, again. Curious. At this point Libby started to quietly freak out. The driver pulled off onto a side road and wound us into a vineyard. He told us this was an area for good wine. Next we pulled into a driveway. Before we knew it, he was out of the car (meter still running) talking to some l lady. He motioned us out of the car. We complied and were brought into this small, family-owned winery. We were shown hams curing, wine aging, and an unusual “hidden” door that looked like side of the caves. The taxi driver seemed especially pleased to show us mold on the walls: “natural,” he said. We were also able to look down into the limestone caves, which this area–The Karst–is best known for. I would have bought some wine (even though we didn’t sample any, as our “tour” was unannounced), but I was afraid Libby would kill me (as she was very obviously unhappy about our detour — Libby’s generally less trusting of strangers and less open to unplanned “adventure”). So, we left. However, before getting into the car, I tried to snap a picture of the winery. At this point, our driver backed into me and hit me with the open car door. It was a minor mishap… and I was not hurt. The driver was very apologetic. I thought it was funny. Libby was less amused. Nevertheless, I get to claim that the first (and I hope only) time I’m ever hit by a car was in Slovenia!

After this, we returned to Trieste and the port. We were back by 10:00am. The driver actually wanted to charge us less than the negotiated rate. However, I insisted and paid him more. He was a good, honest, and friendly fellow who wanted to ensure we experienced the real Slovenia, especially the gourmet foods and wine for which the Karst is well known.

We will definitely return to Slovenia! Heck, I might come back to Trieste too (which is, actually, an attractive city with friendly people).

It’s this sort of random adventure (once all is safe and sound) that we love about travel!

I’m just sorry I didn’t get any wine! Oh well, next time. 😉

This is the last day of our cruise. Tonight, we return to Venice (which should be beautiful as we sail in around sunset). This afternoon, we plan to have lunch in the Pinnacle Grill and then pack for our trip home tomorrow.

Here is a photo of Trieste and a (blurry) view from inside the taxi:

One Response to “Cruise Day #7 — Trieste, Italy”

  1. […] going to Albania (who’d have imagined that?), making an unplanned visit to Slovenia (and then getting ‘kidnapped’ and hit by a car there), going on the inaugural voyage of the M/S Nieuw Amsterdam, eating some excellent meals in NYC […]

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