Woke up in Trieste. Jack Hammers and diesel fumes from the machinery flooding our room. Yuck!
Kevin and I both were on our computers checking out places. Finally, we decided to call one. The Hotel Maribel in Madonna di Campiglio in the Dolomites. Great move.
They gave us a wonderful “last minute rate” and we are in good shape.
Ken went out early to a grocery store and got cereal etc. for all of us. We went down to a bar a half a block away for decent coffee. No exaggeration–on those 2 blocks there were at least 6 coffee bars!
We got packed up, checked out and were easily on our way north to Duino, fulfilling Kev’s dream to see where Rilke, his favorite poet, wrote. We parked at the information office in Sistiana and walked a trail along the coast to the beautiful castle in Duino. There were amazing views out to the Gulf of Trieste around every turn and interesting plants, too:
This one was called “Christ Thorn” but I don’t remember ever seeing it before.
View from Sistiana to our destination at the beginning of the trail:
View of a castle ruin:
We arrived at the Duino Castle and went into the museum. The gardens were lovely–“Don’t walk on the grass.”
Kev explained to us a bit of the philosophy of Rilke–dark stuff.
My 2 favorite things in the museum were the dining room:
and seeing Kevin thrilled to be there:
This is the stairway:
We stopped for a quick panino and took the bus (a minor adventure in and of itself) back to where we had left the car.
The drive up to Madonna in the Dolomites took us past Venice, Verona and up to Trento and finally into the mountains. Ken watched the car’s outside temperature reading drop, with glee. It took us about 5 hours with one stop for coffee at an “over-the freeway” Autogrill which, we were told, was designed by the famous Italian architect Nervi. Arriving at Hotel Mairbel was wonderful. While it is not a deluxe place the service is. We were shown several room to choose from and finally settled on 2 together in the corner of the hotel on the 3rd floor. Then, Andrea served us each a welcoming glass of prosecco, parked the car for us and brought our suitcases upstairs. I took a quick bath (so soothing!) and we went to dinner in the hotel. Fodd was delicious if a bit too rich. I had ravioloni with chard and a bit of julienned speck on top with a rich sauce. Ken and Kev had bucatini alla Amatriciana which was a little less successful but still nice. Ken and I shared a little sausage with potatoes and mushrooms which was really tasty and seemed a much more local dish. I loved the buckwheat flavored bread. We drank a bottle of Kerner wine–didn’t love it and all shared a pannacotta for dessert. The plates were garnished beautifully and the service was, again, top of the line.
I watched some of the Spain vs. Portugal match in the lobby with 2 families from Rome. When it went into overtime I came upstairs. Amy was sleepy in the bed but Kev and Ken and I watched til the end, with Spain winning on PKs. The bed is so comfortable! The air is chilly and mountainy. I think we’re going to be very happy in this “off the beaten path” place.


Up, Up, Up — 3 Comments

  1. That was an unnerving game for me! Italy tonight… glad you are happy there Jan.

  2. Wow, what a rough start to this new chapter. You are obviously experienced travelers, as you didn’t let it throw you. Brava Jan!
    Pretty photos, I love the glasses on the dining room table.