It’s been a busy week. The washer didn’t get delivered until Thursday, but I found an organic grocery store up where the waterfront takes a turn to the right around the harbor and up a couple of blocks inland. It’s about a 20 minute walk from my place.
My brother came on Friday and hauled me out to the Ikea near Palmanova so that I could get some supplies for the house – laundry things, a little lamp for my bedside, a desk chair (which I am now comfortably perched in instead of the hard kitchen chair), and some stuff for the kitchen. What a difference a comfortable chair makes!
Today I didn’t have anything pressing to do so I decided to go for a walk along the waterfront. My first stop was the aquarium. Entry is €4.50 and I didn’t have quite enough in my pocket, so I went in search of a bancomat. By the time I’d got cash, I would only have had about 45 minutes to see the place, and I have no idea how much time I’d actually want to spend inside, so I went to lunch instead. I had Chinese (lemon chicken that wasn’t half bad) at a place on the tree-lined waterfront walk along Riva del Mandracchio.
The aquarium is an interesting building from the outside, formerly a fish market. Its high ceilings can be seen through broad glass windows and ironwork, while the outside features images of sea life along the roofline. I’m quite interested in checking it out, but I knew I should save it for a later day.
After lunch, I continued up the Riva to the little park at Piazza Venezia, which features a statue of Maximilian of Austria, once Emperor of Mexico. Maximilian himself isn’t really all that interesting to me visually, but the four winged supporting figures around him are rather more so. I don’t know for certain who or what they are intended to represent. One is an African figure with a Pharaonic headdress. Another is a figure bearing what looks like a harpoon, wearing a lion skin, reminiscent of Heracles.
Walking further along the waterfront, where the coast takes a sharp turn to the right toward the freight rail yard, I came to the marina and a forest of masts. There’s a lighthouse there a little further along, but by that time my hips were starting to bother me, and I knew it was time to turn back. The view of the city through the masts of the boats in dock was really lovely, with the clouds descending slowly from the Carso.
On my way home I stopped for a macchiato at Specchi. My receipt said “cappuccino Triestino.” I’ve been told that macchiato and cappuccino are pretty much exactly the opposite things here of what they are in the rest of Italy, but I got what I ordered, with a tiny cup of whipped cream and a little chocolate to go with it.
As I sat outside in the piazza, I watched the city go by. Dogs barked and attempted to chase pigeons (less than successful, considering they were leashed). Kids rode bicycles and played with soccer balls. A couple entered the caffè, speaking to each other in sign.
I stopped briefly at the tourist office just off the main piazza to ask about a bus map. The woman at the office said there wasn’t really a transit map, but she gave me some bus route numbers for places like Castello Miramare, Grotta Gigante, and the natural history museum. “Everything else, you can walk to from here,” she said. Bus 42 will take me to the cave from Piazza Oberdan, not far from my flat, and I think it stops by the train station as well. It’s about a half hour trip. There are hour-long guided tours and a visitor’s center out there. Bus 6 will take me out to Miramare. I’m definitely interested in both and will probably do one or the other sometime soon.