Bike Down to the Neighbouring Resort town of PortorozJust 3.5 km away from Piran, Portoroz is a resort and spa town, and one of the finest seaside resort towns in the Adriatic. Its spa and wellness centers are renowned for healing and rejuvenation. The beach there is very inviting and is a perfect place to soak in some Mediterranean sun. Gambling is a major industry here and everyone is free to go and try their luck in the casinos. Hard to miss is the Kempinski Palace, a very posh hotel, and one of the most luxurious in the long Adriatic coast line, between Venice and Dubrovnik. In between Piran and Portoroz, are historic salt warehouses, which has a lot of cultural and historical importance; salt being an important commodity to the town of Piran. Today in its place, there is an exhibition gallery. Rent a bike at Luma Sport. Rates start at €3 for an hour and go up to €15 for the whole day.
Visit the Secovlje Salt PansSalt production has been a very important industry for the people of Piran since the ancient times, and they say that the town grew because of salt. Some 8km from Piran, the Secovlje salt pans are extensive fields where salt is produced still using the traditional methods so as to preserve cultural heritage. Thier salt contains many minerals and microelements which are essential to the human body. The salt of Piran is an absolute must souvenir to bring home! Entry fee to the Secovlje Selina Nature Park is €5. Apart from the salt pans, there is a salt museum, an exhibition and sales centre, and a pub where traditional salt-pan dishes can be savoured. Renting a car or a bike is the most convenient way to reach.Festivals in PiranSalt Making Festival in AprilPiran Summer Festival in July-AugustTartini Festival of Chamber Music in August-SeptemberGetting to PiranFlights from New Delhi or Mumbai via Amsterdam, Vienna, Frankfurt, Paris, or Zurich, and then an onward flight to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. No direct connections are available as such. Buses and taxis are available from Ljubljana to Piran, and approximately takes less than two hours, depending on your mode of transport. Trains go only up to Koper, another town near Piran. Buses are available from Koper to Piran. Private and shared shuttles are also available from Ljubljana Airport to Piran.Visa: SchengenCostsNew Delhi to Ljubljana from Rs. 45,000 (return per person)Local Transport from Ljubljana to Piran: varies €12-25Koper to Piran: €1-15Taxis from Ljubljana City/ Airport to Piran: from €100Meal: €10 approx. per person per mealBest Places to Eat: Casa Nostromo Restaurant, Ribja Kantina, Fritolin pri Cantini, Pirat
My next destination was Bled, in Slovenia. I promised towards the end of Part 1 of my post that the trip from there got only interesting, and here is why. While in Venice and researching on how to get to Bled, I realized that there is no cross-country train service between Italy and Slovenia. The only convenient way I could get to Bled from Venice was by taking a train to Gorizia, taking a bus (Bus 100) from Gorizia to Nova Gorica (in Slovenia), and then taking a train from Nova Gorica to Bled Jezero. While it doesn't sound that complicated, neither it actually was, but it took me almost the entire day to get to Bled. Leaving Venice around 9AM, I reached Bled only around 5.30PM.The travel, however, was smooth and enjoyable. Especially, my train journey from Nova Gorica to Bled Jezero. I was on a train which had 3 coaches in total and almost as much people in each coach. The train traversed some beautiful landscape, and the first sign of snow started to show.I guess, by now, you are wondering why did I choose to visit Bled. Most of you might not have heard about Bled, and honestly, neither did I, until I started looking up places to visit east of Italy. Well, for one simple reason, and it's this.
From elegant architecture to aromatic cafes, from magnificent palaces to dramatic operas, the city of Vienna portrays royal connection in it's every aspect. 'Wien' as they call in German is a hometown to famous Mozart and Beethoven.Though my short stint with the city was not enough to explore the musically and artistically pleasing capital of Austria, I really wanted to make best of it to see as much as I could.In Vienna, I ditched the expensive hotel rooms and choose to stay at Airbnb home-stays. It was homely, cozy and really cheap. Located in the heart of the city here's a glance of my room.
Croatia’s capital is an underrated destination waiting to be explored. It is not as popular as Dubrovnik or Split, but is a quintessential metropolitan city combining elegant 19th century buildings with plenty of cultural divisions and a vibrant cafe life. It is a great place to discover charming boutiques selling unique dresses, shopping for souvenirs, and tasting local delicacies. It is also a good place to visit undulating hills and charming villages nearby.
Before leaving Treviso, I certainly fulfilled my promise to myself of going back to the places that I had visited on my first stroll through the city. Treviso fulfilled all my expectation of what Italian nightlife should be like. Crossing bridges across flowing waters and watching twilight change into evening in the city was a magnificent experience. In the evening we saw some tango dancers on the roads and despite being close to midnight the piazza was teeming with people having fun.
Day 13: Check out of Hotel Castello Vicchiomaggio in Chianti. Take bus/car from Chianti to Florence. Take train from Florence to Verona. Check in Hotel Giulietta e Romeo in Verona. Opera at Arena - Romeo and Juliet was magnificent; get seats closest to the stage