Our time on the island of Krk was unbelievable. However, we knew that we had to move on. For the first time in a week there was cloud cover, but the temperature wasn’t affected. It felt really muggy and even after a shower I couldn’t stop the perspiration. We had breakfast and finished packing the van.
Both Mandy and I wondered whether or not we are making the right choice trying to stay south to miss the wet weather up north. The difference was a good 8 degrees between Croatia/ Italy, and our original planned Saturday night in Saltzburg, Austria. But we were where we were, and our destination was set for Trieste, Italy.
Apparently the campsite we chose is run by the Camping Club of Italy, who make visitors aware that they are basic, clean, and affordable.
Camping Obelesco is managed by the Camping Club Trieste,
an association of local campers that tries to do everything possible, with great efforts, to improve the structure from year to year. We are a 2-star , simple, small, spartan and with reasonable prices.
The campsite was founded in 1968 (the year both Mandy and me were born). After the relative experience of the last campsite we are happy to do affordable, but initial impressions of their dated website, we were a little dubious.
For the duration of the drive between Krk and Trieste we travelled under overcast skies, which probably helped from the point of view that we weren’t getting fried to a crisp by direct sunlight. We needed to get some supplies from Lidl so when we got close to our destination we used Google to find the nearest one. This took us back out of Italy, briefly into Slovenia, past a stud farm . It was all very strange, but great as there were fields full of white horses.
We eventually found the supermarket and continued on towards the campsite. The entrance wasn’t obvious or very well sign posted and when Google maps told me I had reached my destination on the left as we drove downhill towards Trieste it took a while before I could pull in and do a u-turn, but I was alerted as we approached the entrance a second time. A small discreet ageing brown sign was all there was to make us aware we should turn right up a very steep tarmac path.
After 500 meters taking it slow in first gear, with constant concern I may meet something coming the other way on a road that was obviously only wide enough for one vehicle, it finally opened out to car park, a barrier, and the campsite reception.We checked in and were asked to follow the receptionist to our pitch via a scooter .
Our low expectations of this campsite changed for the better as we followed on the narrow, windy path that meandered up into the hillside. Many of the pitches were taken up by caravans that are clearly long term residents. It was all very cosy and secluded being surrounded by trees, and the further up we moved into the campsite, the quieter and more remote it got.
After a few minutes we arrived at a roomy terrace pitch, edged by a low trellis fence with Jasmine growing the entire length. The aroma was unbelivable.
We went through the now all familiar 5 minute process of elevating the roof, winding the awning out, swivelling the chairs and setting up the table and chairs for outdoor living. We spent the rest of the afternoon in a state of disbelief at just how nice our new plot of land was high in the hillside of Trieste. This was a definite win for us! The shade from the trees was welcome, and there was very little noise aside from birds and an occasional bee pollinating the abundance of small white flowers. Bliss!
Later that evening I wandered down to the small taverna at the campsite entrance for a cool beer. The sunset just outside the entrance to the camp was amazing!
The following day was a Sunday and the high-street stores would be closed. So we spent time considering our options as to whether or not to venture into the city. We took our time in the morning and breakfast turned into brunch as we chilled. But by midday we had decided that we would dip into Trieste for a wander around and a coffee.
Transport options were restricted to a bus service since the trams had stopped operating some four or five years ago. I’m not sure exactly why because all of the infrastructure is still there. Maybe EU intervention saying the vehicles weren’t up to regulations? Talking to one local the night before in the restaurant told me they have plans to run it again, but it is a slow process which is frustrating the region. As it transpired, the bus service is reliable and very cheap. We had to buy our tickets from kiosks machine as you couldn’t buy them on the bus. €1.30 was the price of an hours travel on every day of the week except Sunday where it was valid for 4 hours due to a reduced service.
The bus followed the steep windy road into the city and stopped on a back street where everybody got off and the bus was empty! The obvious conclusion was this must be the end of the line so we followed suit. It was a little confusing as we were expecting a bus terminal, or some local place of interest like a water feature or town square, but nothing so obvious. By the time we realised this, the crowd of people that had gotten off at our stop had dispersed. So we were left scratching our heads on the adjacent street corners before we committed to a direction that looked the busiest. Our instincts proved to be correct and it wasn’t long before the quiet back streets were left behind us as, and we moved into the heart of Trieste.
Over the course of the afternoon we covered a great deal of distance. With no real plan we found it easy to find many of the things that makes this city so enticing. Towards late afternoon, and with the heat beating down on us we sought sanctuary in the air conditioning of a MacDonalds. Mandy was hungry, and I was thirsty. Never ordered a beer in MacDonalds before. This was a first!
We had certainly put the leg work in, and our smart watches were backing up what our feet already knew !
We were suprised when we returned to the campervan and settled down to look at a guide to the things to see and do in Trieste, that a large chunk had been ticked off the list during our afternoons outing.
That evening we were blessed with a cool breeze. This seemed to be exaggerated overnight due to the abundance of trees surrounding our van at the campsite, and I was really surprised we had no rain. On the morning the wind dropped a little and it was slightly overcast. We used this as an excuse to catch up with some of the UK news via BBC iplayer, and were slow to decide on a plan for the day. Based on our progress the day before around the city, we felt we were in a position where we could look a little further afield for the next days sight seeing. We chose to visit the local attraction Parco del Castello Miramare.
We chose to visit using the campervan, which we seldom use to get around locally once the van has been set up for camping. However, the options to catch two buses each way to get to the castle, one into Trieste, the other out and vice versa on return, really didn’t appeal to us knowing how hot it was going to be. It was only a 20 minute drive by van so it was a bit of a no brainer. We didn’t realise just how steep an incline it was to get to the Castle. Some of the steepest inclines I’ve experienced. This required cooling the breaks with water at one point on the way down, and a slightly scary moment where i had to stop for a bus coming down the road on just about the steepest (worst) place i could have wished to have stopped. (videos to follow).
As is often the case we knew little about Parco del Castello Miramare before we arrived. We had no doubts that it was worth a visit but we were blown away by the beauty of this place. It’s a coastal Castle with amazing gardens. It didn’t cost is a penny to get in, which was amazing, considering.
Our third day at this location saw us catching the bus into the city again for one final look around. Originally our plans were to stay at Camping Obelisco for 4 nights as it was really nice. It was a bit of a last minuite decission as it approached late afternoon that we may be better off leaving that evening and heading towards Saltzburg taking advantage of the cooler temprature, and less traffic on the roads. After a quick shower we were back on the road within an hour.
Camping Obelisco – Strada Nuova for Opicina 37 – 34151 Triestetel / fax: +39 040 212744email: firstname.lastname@example.org