I really overdid things in the last couple of days. My brother came down Friday and Saturday and we walked a lot. We also attended the carnevale parade. There is apparently a European Carnevale that is hosted by a different city every year, and this year was Trieste’s turn. They had bands from several different countries this year, and a parade on Saturday afternoon. I’ve seen them running around town in packs in their costumes, and found them playing in the piazzas.
I’ve been told that the big Trieste carnevale will be happening on March 1st and 2nd in Muggia, just up the coast from here, right before you run out of Italy.
Carnevale is not something I’ve ever really experienced. It’s not as huge a thing here as in Venice, but I’m under the impression carnevale in Venice is only to be experienced, not described. I grew up in New England and then lived most of my life in the Pacific Northwest, where carnival and Mardi Gras are not actually a thing. Not that nobody celebrates, but it’s usually a thing that happens at bars if it happens at all, and the city doesn’t really participate in it the way things happen over here, so this was an interesting experience for me.
On Friday, the espresso machine my brother gave me arrived, early in the day before he got here. We were both pleased, as it meant we didn’t have to wait around my place for the delivery. I had it set up and almost ready to go when he arrived. I’d gone out while I was waiting for him and picked up a couple of espresso cups so that I’d have something to put coffee in if we wanted to use it.
Once he arrived, we went out and got me some internet. They’ll come with the wireless modem and do the installation next Friday the 21st, which means unlimited internet again for a reasonable price, rather than having to continually add money to a pay as you go account for every 7 gigabytes. This will cost me about half of what it cost in the US, though you only pay every couple of months.
It seems like bills here all happen only every couple of months. I’m used to paying things monthly, so having to remind myself to hold money back for bills later is something I’m going to have to get used to. Not knowing how much gas, electric, and water are going to cost yet, I haven’t any idea how much I’ll need, so I’ve been trying to be cautious about how much I’m spending for anything not strictly necessary. Once I’ve seen a bill or two, I’ll be able to budget more effectively, but at least I know what the internet bill is going to look like.
After we dealt with getting me connected, we wandered around seeking dinner and people-watching. We spent some time in and around Piazza Unità after dark for the first time since I’ve been here. It’s really incredibly beautiful at night. Finding food, however, was a bit of a challenge as not only was it Friday night, it was also valentine’s day, so a lot of the more interesting places were booked solid until late in the evening. We ended up sitting outside under heat lamps at a waterfront seafood place. I had the grilled seafood assortment, which was really quite nice.
Yesterday we headed out for a walk and climbed the Scala dei Giganti. It’s a large set of stairs set over a tunnel that looks like some sort of otherworldly creature consuming vehicles that pass through it. Above the stairs is a park, and above that park is Castello San Giusto. We got a call from my landlady as we were climbing the stairs, asking us to meet her about some furniture she’s got in the attic to see what I wanted to use, so we didn’t get to do more than have a brief walk around the back of the castle and down again before we had to be back at my place. I’ll head up again once I’m a little more recovered and my legs are working properly again.
After perusing the attic furniture, which had belonged to her grandmother, she invited us in for coffee and gave me an old phone book and a map and business directory for the city. Both of them are quite outdated, but the maps are a larger scale and cover more than the tourist map of the city I’ve been using, and stuff like the big pharmacies in the phone book will still be mostly where they’re listed, so the information is certainly useful.
The carnevale parade was due to start somewhere around 2pm from Piazza Oberdan and meander its way down to Piazza Unità. I’m not sure when it started, but the first groups began arriving sometime around 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon. We’d been outside and walking or standing for some hours by that time. The day had started out nice but the temperature dropped steadily through the afternoon so, by the time we’d seen the parade, we were both very cold. My brother headed off on the train again somewhat later, but we had a pretty good day. I was amused when the first band through was playing Rasputin at the stop with the film crew. The version of the tune I know is by Boiled in Lead.
Between the cold, the climbing, and the walking, though, I have been left achy and sore and barely mobile. I’m not always the best at gauging where my limits are when I’m doing something interesting. I took a very hot shower before I went to bed to warm myself up and an equally hot one this morning, but I haven’t been up to going out anywhere, even to pick up a few groceries down the block. Tomorrow I should be back on my feet again more reliably, though.
And here, for your enjoyment, are scenes from the Carnevale in Trieste.