Sunday, July 23, 2017

2017 European Backpacking Month begins now! First stop Trieste, Italy

So here we go starting off on the 2017 European backpacking adventure. Its scheduled for one month, with stops in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and France. It sounds like much, but many of these stops are one day/night only. So my first stop was in Italy, a country I realize I’ve been to six times now. I flew into Milan Malpensa airport from NYC. For those looking for a good entry point to Europe, check out flights to Milan, from NYC I know that many airlines including Emirates, Alitaia, American, Delta, United all fly there making it a reasonable option. I used my frequent flyer miles on Delta (35,000 one way) to book my ticket on Alitalia airlines, the flight was great on a modern Airbus 330, with seatback TVs and good movies (I watched Get Out, highly recommended, good job Peele), and had surprisingly good food for an airline(order the Pasta, I mean you are going to Italy). Milan is also a train hub, with fast routes south to Rome (3hrs), north to Geneva (4hrs) and many more places.

After a 4hr train ride from Milan I arrived in Trieste, this is a city tight on the fat east of Italy, near the border of Slovenia. I have been to many cities for just one night, most have lefts a good impression on me so much so that I have vowed to return (Ljubljana, Luxembourg City), well add Trieste to my list of places I will eventually return to.

Why did I enjoy it so much, well I met up with a great friend from my Prince concert fan days, the legendary Toto!! He has been called up to Dance on stage more times than I can remember, so he showed me around the city. How to describe Trieste? Well all the charm of an Italian city with open plazzas, outdoor cafes on streets blocked off to cars, liberal drinking policy… here sure you can take your glass from a bar, walk around outside even to another bar, just be a good citizen and return the glass to your original bar, no one will complain or stop you. The food as always in Italy is exquisite and also amazingly cheap, I had a lovely fish dinner that was local to this area for only 10 Euros at Eataly, well the Eataly in NYC that wont get you’re a salad probably, the wine is 3-4 Euros a glass, with draft beer being the same price. I will say like some other places in Italy the draft choices are not local, mostly imported Germany, even Belgian, but in bottles there are local choices

It’s a great walking city from the main train station to the outdoor plazas is no more than a 15 minute walk, the Train and Bus stations are right next to each other. The Bus station is a bit confusing for sure, as inside there are a few basically local busses, but the long distance busses to places like Vienna, Ljubljana you catch those against the wall where many busses are parked, there are no signs for what bus company so you have to be on the lookout. It was a bit nervous with a bunch of other traveling trying the bus company Hello, that advertised 9 Euros to Ljubljana, a great deal considering other companies were charging twice or three times that. But it was nerve racking as the bus was late, and no signs or updates even calling the number on the company website, it was all good in the end as the bus showed up 30 minutes late. So now I’m headed to stop two, the lovely as always Ljubljana, but Trieste you won me over and I will return one day!!


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