Day 28. 70km. Sežana – Koper

Posted: October 10, 2014 in Cycling, Italy, Slovenia
Tags: , , , , ,

White horses, science fiction underground river caverns, Trieste in sailing regatta fever, 50kg heave – no gym required, climb into Slovenia. All in beautiful sunshine. Thanks Marko for the tips!

Sunset in Koper

Sunset in Koper

A gushing river has etched out a massive cavern over millions of years. Perched on the side looking down, the river was far far below. The path I followed twisted and turned behind me, upwards to the silent cavern. Ahead was a bridge crossing the yawning depths, still far below the cavern roof. This gorge was massive. Without the man/woman-made path, lit up for my group, I would be in complete darkness. From above and below – rock. This gorge was underground.

The lit up path in the massive cavern

The lit up path in the massive cavern

The eery walls of white calcium carbonate, white pillars hanging from above and rising from below. A glisten would form on the bottom of a stalactite. The bulge of water would grow. And then, drip. And so they form, over thousands of years.
Different people see different shapes, said the guide. I see the ‘silence’ – a science fiction alien from ‘Doctor Who’. Or maybe one of the aliens from the film ‘Alien’ with Sigourney Weaver. Whatever I saw, it felt like I was in another world. Amazing.

Leaving the cavern

Leaving the cavern

But before, preparing me for my science fiction adjourn, I passed through the fields of Lothlórien from Lord of the Rings. Green, lush fields, with white horses frolicking in the sun. Legolas was just around the corner.

White horses in Lothlórien

White horses in Lothlórien

White horses in Lothlórien

White horses in Lothlórien

A fellow long-distance cyclist. Meet Samuel from France. Travelling a circuitous route from France to South America (via Greece). He didn’t join me into the caverns, and had gone by the time I emerged. We did go, together with Marko, to the cavern lookout. I guess our paths may cross on the way to Greece.

Canyon lookout

Canyon lookout

Me and Samuel

Me and Samuel

Me and Marko

Me and Marko

I wanted to see Trieste, which made my route today very convoluted. Marko had a brilliant tip of following an abandoned train track that went downhill all the way into the centre of Trieste. Fantastic!

Descent into Trieste

Descent into Trieste

Descent into Trieste

Descent into Trieste

Trieste was in sailing regatta fever. I made my way down to the shore, took the necessary ‘I was here’ picture, and then tried to find my way back. Not too easy.. OK. I don’t have a problem with going the wrong way up one way streets (otherwise I would still be there now). However, Trieste being so steep, at one point, the only way forward was up – and almost vertically up. No gym today, but a 50kg (bike and luggage) heave.

Piazza Unita in Trieste

Piazza Unita in Trieste

Gym training

Gym training

Once out of the centre, finding the way out of the city without freeways is also a challenge. Thanks to my little friends (that I discovered on the way from Venezia eastwards) – the black sticker with the red arrow.

My friend the cycling sticker

My friend the cycling sticker

Around and around, in and out, up and down, and then ‘Hello Slovenia’ (after a short steep uphill grunt).

Made it into Slovenia again

Made it into Slovenia again

Tonight is hostel night – in the seaside town of Koper in Slovenia. Tomorrow the Istrian peninsula in Croatia.

The alley with my hostel

The alley with my hostel

Comments
  1. Hi Matthew, Love your blog. Now that I’m home after 16 months of riding I have to get my fix from other cyclists. When you get a bit further south in Croatia, there is some lovely riding (and good wine) south of Split. We took a ferry from Ploče to Trpanj on the Pelješac Peninsula. Great cycling on the way to Ploče and also on the peninsula which will take you to Orebič. From there you can take a ferry to Korčula, a beautiful walled city.

    Here’s a couple of our blog posts from that section. We were there in November and had the best weather.

    http://2lovecycling.com/2013/11/12/the-pearl-of-the-adriatic/

    http://2lovecycling.com/2013/11/10/going-for-a-bottle-of-wine/

    Groetjes en goede reis. (Ik ben in Nederland geboren maar woon al meer dan 30 jaar in Canada).

    Pv

  2. Great trip Matthew. totally jealous here 😉 Like your daily updates!

  3. dvanderzwaan says:

    mooi, mooi wat is dat afzien wat je doet, en wat fijn dat er overal fietsvrienden zijn die jou bijzondere dingen kunnen aanwijzen. Wat een geweldig uitzicht vanaf het fietspad Trieste en dan de grot….ongelooflijk!! Dat is wel iets anders dan de mergel of mijn grotten in Limburg, alhoewel die ook prachtig zijn. Ik wens je een goeie fietsweek toe. groetjes Trudi

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