Sunday, September 25, 2011

Amazing Trieste

Where my trip started. 

Remains of a Roman arch
A street of very old paving stones

Remains of the Roman am
Cattedrale di San Giusto rose window


Piazza Nuova

Display in the window of an optometrist's office

Boat on the Grand Canal

The Grand Canal

A working fountain

A typical form of transportation

In case you need a bar

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's been too long

I didn't realize that almost a year has gone by since my last post. I'm still knitting and designing sock patterns. I just need to write up my notes about these patterns so that they will make sense to everyone else. I also need to get pictures and then marry the photo to the written pattern. And then post them in my Ravelry shop. In other words, I have a lot to do and I'm better at the knitting part than at the writing up the pattern part.

I've spent the spring and summer riding my bike a lot. My bike has taken me places I won't have gone had I not taken up cycling again last year. I have taken my bike all over northern and central California. I rode my first half century in Solvang in March. A few weeks later, I rode the Cinderella Classic, which is a metric century (65 miles) around the base of Mt. Diablo. In May, I rode the Wine Country metric century. In August, the Tour of the Napa Valley metric century called my name. However, the highlight of the summer was the trip I took in July.

I went on a cycling trip through northeast Italy and Slovenia. It was an amazing eight day tour that started in Trieste, Italy and ended in Bled, Slovenia. I did all of this with a wonderful tour company called Ciclismo Classico. After the tour ended, I returned to Trieste for a few days and then joined my boyfriend in Verona for a few days of cycling there. Then we spent a few days in Venice being tourists since it's impossible to ride a bike in Venice. We have both been to Venice before so we spent time in museums and neighborhoods we hadn't explored on previous trips.

We traveled with our bikes. There is nothing like riding your own bike in a foreign country. We attracted a lot of attention in Trieste when we were putting our bikes together. Northern Italy is bike crazy. I ride a Bianchi named after the velodrome in Milan. I was asked a few times if I knew that my bike was named after a famous velodrome. Fortunately, I'd done my homework and could honestly say that I knew where the name came from. I attracted even more attention taking my bike apart in the same alley nine days later so I could pack it. I gathered it was a bit unusual for a woman to be taking a bike apart on her own.

After my bike was packed, I took a walk around Trieste. Trieste is James Joyce crazy in addition to being cycling crazy. There is a bronze statute of JJ on a bridge crossing the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal isn't at all like the Grand Canal of Venice, which is what I picture when I think of the Grand Canal. There are bars and hotels named after JJ. I even stayed at the James Joyce Hotel. You can walk around the city following a James Joyce itinerary. Of course, there are the well known spots he frequented while he lived, taught English and wrote in Trieste. I've never seen greater JJ love outside of a university English Department!