Not an awful lot can be said for Piran in the wake of Rovinj, but we will try and dedicate a blog to its good points. I recently received an email from my tech-savvy grandma (Dukes) who warned against the dangers of becoming complacent in moving to the next place in your travels and it not meeting your expectations. This was one of those moments. Having stated such blasphemy whilst being in such a beautiful part in the world… I shall move on.
Piran is a tiny town jutting out into the Mediterranean. My history is sketchy but I am pretty sure the town changed hands a plethora of times before finally being claimed by the Slovens. It has not escaped Italian influence and as far as I’m concerned, Italy might as well just claim it back, because everyone speaks Italian, everything looks Italian, but it is in the “l love Slovenia” brochure. We have since comprehended the Slovens intense claim to this area of coast, having the rest of the nation inland. They have protected 2/3rds of their 60km of coastline and are fiercely green and protective of their ‘coastal gem’. Regardless, I’ll spare you more local sentiment (however this is the thing I enjoy about taking your time traveling through countries as opposed to a ‘fly by’, as you really discover what it is like to be a part of the culture).
The town of Piran is gorgeous, as the photos show. The sunsets were spectacular and feature heavily in our shots over the three days. Our cravings for a domestic life were revealed soon after we arrived. Upon being shown to our apartment (which was a great little loft right in the middle of the locals) our attention was drawn straight to one thing: the oven. We have not seen an oven since leaving London, with all accommodation offering a tiny stove at the most. Joel and I looked at each other, and without speaking our eyes swum with “roast”. One slight problem – Europe shuts down at midday on Saturdays. I claim that they are the only people who took the Sabbath seriously, plus some extra liberty. In english this means that all shops shut at 12:00pm on Saturday and re-open on Monday morning. Most frustrating when you have a roast swimming before your eyes. We were rescued by our main man – the local grocer in the town square who refuses to pack up and go home. How he stands there from 7am-7pm in the open air heat baffles me, but we were happy to see him. Everything is 50cents. “You want a string of tomatos, a garlic, leeks and some rocket?”…. “hmmm 50cents”. We were loving life.
Our roast progressed into the evening, and was a cause for celebration, well into the next day for leftovers, and the day after that. Highlight. So for those of you at home, appreciate your domestic lives! It’s something you miss on the road. We are looking forward to getting back to London in a few weeks and being able to enjoy such simple things. We are however dreading the lack of ocean in London. Our last day in Piran it hit me that this was it – no more ocean, no more open spaces. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I actually cried. It was hard to let go of something that has been a part of you since your earliest memories.
There were two other things that deserve mentioning in Piran. One such thing was the bell tower which you can see in our photos. It was quite a mighty bell tower as Joel would say, and we had a ball climbing to the top via some quite dodgy wooden rickety stairs (which looked like they were built with the original tower). The views were spectacular, and I almost fell over the rail with fright when the clock chimed 2 o’clock at the top of it’s clock-lungs as I was busy posing for a photo and not prepared for such an occurrence!!
Lastly, and definitely worthy of a fond recall – Skocjan Caves. We took a bus ride and a hike out to these UNESCO heritage listed beauties, and it was worth the effort and expense because it was jaw dropping. If I remember correctly, these caves are the largest underground space, with ceilings measuring 200m at points. There was also a river rushing through the chasms, sounding like thunder and striking the fear of God in us all! I suppose words can only say so much, and photos perhaps even less, as it’s something you need to see to truly appreciate.
With all sorrow about leaving the coastline aside, we were both excited to move to the next stage of our adventures – inland Slovenia and the alps fast approaching on our itinerary. This is such a great blessing to have this experience with one another. I cannot believe we haven’t run out of things to talk about, it illustrates the strong friendship and bond we have with each other. At times it isn’t even about words, it’s about holding the hand of the one you love, and letting the moment speak for itself.
Until next time…