May 1 – Trieste
l like Trieste. Trieste is a nice city. I’m feelin’ some Italian magic!
The sun shone today in a cloudless sky and it was perfect for a gentle roam through the streets and piazzas of Trieste. We strolled across the grand Piazza Unita d’Italia that we had ridden past on our way in yesterday. People were out for the May Day holiday and locals, tourists and the ever present pooches were out in force enjoying a walk or sitting in the sun at the cafes and bistros lining the square.
The buildings are beautiful and the pace an easy going one, so we roamed with eyes left, right and up to enjoy the spectacle of the architecture and enjoy the warmth of the sun. We haven’t had that for a while, so it was glorious.
Being May Day, there was a march through the streets and it was quite something. I still don’t know what it was about but the atmosphere was quite joyous and it seemed to be about peace or social justice or something like that. There were Amnesty International banners, lots of rainbow flags, a banner for peace in the Middle East and people were carrying flowers, greeting each other with hugs and parents were dancing with children. There were people of all ages involved, marching at a very sedate pace, with lots of children in there too. At one point a woman spoke through a megaphone, none of which we could understand except for the last two words. She and the crowd got quite a rhythm going to the chant…”Some-thing, some-thing, an-ti, fa-scis-ta” [fist pump, fist pump, fist pump, fist pump], ”Some-thing, some-thing, an-ti, fa-scis-ta” [fist pump, fist pump, fist pump, fist pump] With a few repeats of that! So we know it was something anti fascist, but the rest we couldn’t get! The music pumped and people walked along playing drums and it was quite fabulous, if only we knew what all the signs said! Around the corner on the Piazza, was a very small, separate gathering, with flags and a single person speaking to the group. We wondered if this lot were speaking an opposing and heavier message to the marchers, because the march only had a couple of local police cars at the head of it, leading the way, whereas this other small group and their speaker had riot police standing there with their helmets, keeping an eye on things, as if they were prepared for things to kick off with that lot. Nothing happened and it was great to see the march and all its music, singing and dancing.
We stopped in a little park for some elevenses and then strolled down along the water, where stalls were set up and people were enjoying all manner of food along the promenade and in the sunshine.
We called in to Eatily for a look which is like a huge, enormous two-storey providore with all manner of food and produce, showcasing Italian producers. Definitely worth a visit.
We called a halt to the roam after spending a super time strolling around and watching the goings on of this picturesque city. I even got to go for a run this morning and it was fantastic. The sun was coming up over the hills and it shone and sparkled on the masts of all the boats as I ran by the water and then through streets and up a hill out of the city centre and then back again. There were other runners about and I got a “ciao” from one man, so I was able to “ciao” in return. A top start to the day.
We spent the afternoon making plans. We’re deciding what to do because there’s a slight hiccup in proceedings. Steve’s knee has been giving him grief since he came down on the slippery steep hill on our difficult day and the knee hasn’t been getting any better. He said it was really painful riding into Trieste yesterday. The things is, with our form of travel, the legs don’t ever really get a full rest. We’re either riding the bikes for hours or roaming for hours and Steve’s assessment of the situation is, “I think my knee would be fine if it just got a few days rest.” So we’re figuring out what to do, to keep moving forward and not lose too much time to do and see as much as we can, but also nurse a semi-injured knee. It might mean a train again, which neither of us want to do, but I guess we’re just going to have to be sensible about it. We’re only two weeks in, so it’s better that we give Steve’s knee a few days rest and recovery and hope it feels better, than push on and risk impacting things long term with another five and a half months still to go. So…we had already planned to ride to Ljubljana and had psyched ourselves up for the big climbs out of Trieste, but pedalling up hills is not going to do a tricky knee any good, so we’re thinking we’ll still head for Ljubljana, but by rail and then spend a few days there, which we’d planned to do anyway because it’s seems like a beautiful place to have a look around. Hopefully, with today off the bikes and the rest of the week doing some gentle exploring and no hill climbing, with ample rest for Steve, his knee might be ready to go. Then, we’re hoping we can get things back on track and get on the bikes and in the tent and do this trip the way we intended. Hopefully playing it safe and a few days off the bikes now, will allow us to keep going on the bikes for the months to come.
Onward we go and we shall live the mantra…adapt and overcome! We will nurse a tricky knee but continue to live the dream because each day brings something new and amazing, no matter what!
Distance ridden: 0 km
Distance run: 10 km
Distance roamed: 7.2 km