April 29 – Portorož
Y’know when you put a layer of clothes on and then it’s still cold so you add another layer and then another layer until you can’t bend your arms and you can only tilt them back and forth like a Lego person? Well that was me this morning. It was COLD!
Since we didn’t get a chance to see much of Portorož yesterday on account of hiding from a raging storm, we stayed an extra day to have a look around. After a long and leisurely breakfast that included multiple visits to the breakfast buffet, we watched the rain continue to fall and waited for it to ease off…and waited…and waited…and waited…FINALLY it stopped enough for us to take a roam into Portorož.
We followed a track up a hill through trees, then down to the coastline and along a path strewn with fallen rocks from above. Pick up the pace…power walking now…get past the area where a rock the size of a small dog might land on my head, and…made it to Piran.
Piran was a lovely little place, another with steep mazes of cobbled lanes and streets with a beautiful, central paved square. It sits right on the coast on a little peninsula and is incredibly picturesque and simply charming. Piran is also known as “the town of salt” and the hotel where we’re staying is actually across the road from the Strunjan Salt Pans where the much sought after fleur-de-sel salt is produced.
After roaming Piran, we strolled along the coastal boardwalk into Portorož. No elevenses today on account of inhaling our body weight in breakfast, but we were ready for lunch. We found a nice place right on the water and enjoyed a delicious Buddha Bowl as we watched the people stroll past in their layers of fleece, puff, gortex and beanies under the increasingly greying sky. I watched as a couple walked past and the man had a carrier strapped to his chest like I hadn’t seen before. It was like a dome that covered his chest, with half of it mesh like a fly screen. I was expecting to see a baby in there as he walked past, but no, there was a little white dog in that carrier. Yep, this man was walking along with a little dog in a purpose-made carrier strapped to his chest, with the little dog looking out of the mesh front. Bless. I guess some people just want their little furry family members with them all the time, even if it means doing the walking for them.
We strolled back along The Route of Health and Friendship again, that we’d ridden in on yesterday in the pelting rain. The rain was starting again on us today, but was holding off enough for us to enjoy the walk. We went back through the long tunnel, which I learned is the Lucan Tunnel and it’s 544m long, the longest tunnel on the Parenzana railway line. The railway line was built between 1900-1902 when the region was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Then down the nice quiet path we went, which we could actually see and enjoy today, passing the occasional cyclist and we made it back just as the rain got heavier. Nice timing.
It was an easy day but we managed to see some more lovely places that the weather had denied us yesterday. The clock is ticking though. Now we’re in Slovenia, we’ve crossed into the Schengen Zone, so our visa limit countdown has begun and we have 90 days before we have to leave mainland Europe, which is when we’ll head for the UK. We’ll ride on tomorrow, when there’s supposed to be an easing of the weather, before it starts to crack up again the next day. More soggy days ahead by the looks of it and chilly ones too, so I’ll just have to perfect my impression of a Lego person, layer up and pedal on! Onward and upward…!
Distance roamed: 12.4km
Layers layered on: 4