We had a leisurely breakfast before walking up the steep hill to the remains of the town walls. Unfortunately we didn’t have the correct change to be able to access the walls so we viewed them from outside the fence before making our way back down the hill for a refreshing mid-morning drink. On our way we stopped to look at the sea view. I had also planned to take a picture of the front view of Archangel Michael who is situated on top of the bell tower by St George’s Cathedral. When I arrived in Piran, I noticed he had his back to the square and was facing towards the sea. Today however he had his back to the sea and I began to doubt myself…
Whilst pondering the possibility that I might have made a mistake he appeared to move slightly. As I stared at him he moved 40o to face more towards my direction! We began to suspect that Archangel Michael was more than he seemed. After our morning drink we visited St George’s Cathedral and had our suspicions about the Archangel confirmed. He is in fact a weather vane and we were informed by the cathedral administrator that if he faced towards Tartini Square it would rain in the town and if he faced towards the sea it would rain across the bay towards Italy. By this time the wind was howling around the cathedral so we were inclined to agree with the prognosis. We visited the cathedral treasury and the crypt before entering the church. The artwork within is spectacular with paintings, carvings and an intricate crucifix entitled The Man of Piran. The latter is kept in a glass case to help preserve it.
We then made our way to the sea front and indulged in an ice cream for lunch although the option I chose had too much cream for my liking. Whilst eating the ice cream we watched the sea breaking over the sea defence barrier, occasionally splashing customers who were on the tables nearest the seafront. After lunch we walking through the winding alleyways of Piran and found ourselves sitting in front of the hotel in the square, watching the world go by for a couple of hours before it was time to get ready for dinner. For dinner we were able to sample one of the local dishes, ćevapčići, which is grilled minced meat formed into rough sausage shapes.
When we stepped into the square after dinner it was still windy and Archangel Michael was ominously looking over the square. We wandered down to the harbour and were treated to a display of sheet lightning in the distance. We didn’t want to chance getting rained on so we returned for a drink in the square before retiring for the night.
I woke up feeling refreshed after the long journey and transfer the previous day. I had a quick shower and got ready to go down for breakfast whilst Mr C hopped in the shower. Unfortunately Mr C had a problem with the water which was scalding hot and we could find no way to turn the temperature down.
After breakfast there was a guided walking tour around Piran which we had decided to go on. For some reason I had got it into my head the walk started at 9.30 when in fact it was due to take place at 10.00. I left Mr C at reception to report the problem with the shower and walked out into Tartini square to wait for him and the others that would be joining the walk. Not surprisingly no-one else turned up and there was no sign of Mr C so I went back into the hotel to find him. He was no longer at reception and nowhere to be seen. I asked the receptionist if he had seen him but he said that he had only just come on shift and hadn’t seen anyone.
I mentioned in passing that we were due to go on the walking tour and the receptionist asked if it was the walk with Damjan (our rep). I said it was and, without another word, he charged off and returned with Damjan whom he had dragged away from his morning cup of coffee. At this point Mr C also turned up. It turned out that he had been sent up to meet the housemaid who would help him sort out the shower problem. The person who had sent him up there was none other than the hotel receptionist who claimed not to have seen him!!!
After this confusion, we met up in the square ready for the guided tour. Damjan was an excellent guide and the information he shared with us was interesting. Whilst we were in the square we heard singing. Damjan informed us that it was probably to celebrate the Restoration of Primorska (Slovene Littoral) to the Motherland which is observed by a National Holiday on 15th September each year. After the walking tour we gathered outside the hotel and ordered drinks whilst we decided which of the guided tours we would go on later in the week. There was a bit of a mix up as to whether the drinks were complimentary or not, but this was easily sorted later in the day.
After we had booked the trips, we retraced the steps of the morning walk in order to take leisurely photographs of the points of interest that we had seen. We took a gentle pace, stopping for lunch and refreshment at various watering holes along the way. In the evening after dinner, we watched an Italian street market being dismantled ready to move on to its next location. We found this quite fascinating because the electrician (from Piran) kept turning off the lighting to the Italian stalls. They were being slow and he was ready to go home…
There are many going afar to marvel at the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the long courses of great rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the movements of the stars, yet they leave themselves unnoticed!
We set off in plenty of time for our flight at 13.30 and, because the roads were clear, we arrived with time to spare before we could check in. We relaxed in Cafe Nero until the check in desks opened. After checking in we had a delicious light lunch of Eggs Benedict. The flight took off on time and we were entertained by a visual display showing us where we were in the sky along with temperature, mach speed and other interesting details. The flight path gave us a spectacular aerial view of the alps. When we arrived at Ljubljana airport a minibus was waiting to take us to Piran, where we were staying for the first week of our holiday, along with 5 other people.
The driver informed us that he was a Swede and that he had moved to Slovenia in 1980 with his family. He pointed out sights during our journey and gave us all sorts of interesting information about western Slovenia. We were dropped off in Tartini Square near to the Hotel Tartini where we would be staying for the week. The first thing we noticed was how lively and vibrant the square was; it was buzzing with people.
We checked in to the hotel and went up to our room where we found had a birds eye view of the square. It was a perfect room with a perfect view. We decided to go straight down to dinner and to unpack our bags later. After dinner, we sat outside the hotel soaking up the atmosphere with a complimentary glass of wine before strolling around Piran until it was time to retire for the evening.
Today I have returned from my travels. I have some photo sorting and editing to do