Without any showers or thunders I cycle another dag through flat Italy, just following the route on maps.me, a kinda cycling for dummies. As long as you have the finishing point entered it can’t go wrong, right?
So I peddle very 😎 relaxed, even the sun comes out. Maps send me to all quiet roads and then to a very quiet track along the railroad. But shortly after it’s blocked by a big gate, there’s no way to go around. Oops!
I do need to cross the river and so I have to go a long way to get there but fortunately on beautiful and quiet roads. Maps keep sending me on dead end roads though, they end in the fields again and again…. Wish I had a paper map right now….
Coming closer to Trieste the views become more beautiful with mountains not so far away, it’s less and less looking like NL. The wind though is getting stronger by the minute and just as I reach the blue Adriatic coastline, the storm blows me almost off the road and after 70 km headwind I am totally knackered and check in at the first hotel. Tonight pizza night at the neighbors! Outside heave rains and storm again.
Cycling along the seaside I always find amazing but along the Adriatico is so beautiful with clear blue waters especially in a clear blue sky sunny day when I wake up the next day! Joepie!
Lots of people are out for a swim. I have been cycling in Asia a lot and sunbathing or swimming in bikini or shorts is really not done. I wish sometimes it’s not done here either. Can’t remember I’ve seen so many big bellies and too much more….
I cycle into Trieste, a nice old town with a long Austrian history. I try to pass thru quickly but that ain’t happen today… Before I know it I am almost on the highway and just in time I can take an exit into a street and 10% ascent at least. Auch! My poor legs can’t handle it yet so I have to push the bike up…
Totally out of breath I suddenly see a very local coffeeshop in front of me. The old lady who’s running it can hardly walk but she is sóóo sweet. Inside there’re only 2 tables, at one of them a few old men from the neighborhood. Books about old Trieste laying around, old magazins and today’s newspaper. The lady has some sweets too to go along with a double cappuccino. How can a shop like this survive? But it’s definitely one of my favorites! When I make an outside picture of the shop the sweet lady comes out and offers to take my picture . Instead we are both on it.
It’s been almost 40 years since I was in Italy, don’t have the best memories of the people, different times too…. But now, I am really starting to like Italy and the people are lovely and friendly and quite relaxed.
Finally I make my way out of Trieste and the real fun begins. On a beautiful cycle lane I enter Slovenia. Good memories come in my mind. In the eighties, before the war – gosh, i feel old – when it was still known as Yugoslavia I came here a couple of times, mostly hiking, European hiking trails and local hiking trails. Lots of fine memories…
Now I am back cycling. This trail goes through forest and tunnels, along the Coast, passing small villages, beautiful old towns with narrow streets and the salt fields. And with almost the constant view of the Adriatico of course! The bike lanes are amazingly beautiful and well kept, like in NL, even better! Being in the EU has done Slovenia good! Most amazing is the former busy coastal road turned into a separate bike and hike lane, no cars here anymore. The old small lane is still there.
Soon I also pass the border with Croatia! But here the bike route changes into a mtb trail which makes riding a fully loaded bicycle a lot harder when it’s suddenly going up. With just the sounds of the wind, the birds and the knispering under my wheels I am not complaining…. But when the trail gets worse and actually follows a quiet paved road I change lanes, makes the climbing a lot easier… Sometimes the trail follows nice ‘olifantenpaadjes’. At the end of the day I find the nicest campsite of Istria, a small garden like eco camping.
The second half of the trail and it all goes up smoothly, the trail isn’t that bad and actually much fun, I’m getting the hang of it. Fortunately I don’t have to climb all the hills…
But for the final downhill I chose the paved road again, flying and rolling into an old coastal town, the end of my Istria trip. What a wonderful trip that was! Three countries in just 2 days. I met beautiful and friendly people in all 3 of them. Met a national volleyball play-star too 🙂 Landscape was beautiful and green! Crossed old little towns on hills and had the view of the blue Adriatico.
Somehow though I thought cycling along the coast of Istria would be flat , don’t know why. Well, I thought wrong after a 1400m climbing total. Which isn’t much of course but tell that to my poor legs! Have to do some more cycling to get in shape….
I took the bus back to Trieste for a relaxing day in this nice town and a well deserved meal!