Published: June 3rd 2012June 2nd 2012
Before we set off for the start of week 2 we wrote down our thoughts on the week = we seem to be trying to mark campsites and work out which we prefer. At the moment would say that it is the quieter sites with perhaps less facilities like bars and swimming pools. More facilities tend to mean more people and that brings with it extra noise. We get a better nights sleep without the families who need all the facilities. Toilets and shower blocks range from excellent to downright basic. Some cleaner than others. I suppose you take your chance with each one. Washing clothes seems difficult at times. I can get them washed but moving on each day means little time to get them dried. I concentrate on smalls as these do dry easier. I guess at some time I will run out of essentials and also towels. Note made to remember to bring more towels with us next time and to use the on site facilities for clothes washing more often. We had worried about space but with hindsight we should never have been so concerned. The van seems more spacious than we first thought. We do need
some different storage boxes but am sure will find these before our next trip in September.
Filled up water tanks and emptied loo before heading for Grado a small fishing and beach resort which resembles Venice as it lies on its own lagoon witha bridge connecting it to the mainland.
It was another hot and sunny day after such a lousy day yesterday. The thunder and lightening have passed and left us back with suntanning weather. Temperatures in the high 30’s. Never thought I would hear myself saying I like the sun but this is very enjoyable. It makes it easier to sightsee when it is dry.
Glenn had been to Grado 35 years ago before commercialism hit the place and he was surprised at how many high rise flats and hotels had been put up since his last visit. It no longer looked the quiet fishing village it once was. We had planned to stop and have a look around but the first car park banned motorhomes. That always seems foolish to me. Signs showed more car parks further out of town and we headed for the next one hoping it would not take us too
long to walk back into the town. You could park a motorhome there but only out of season. Out of season actually meant only up to March. On to the next one which had the same signs up banning motorhomes. This seemed silly as the car parks were empty and surely a car parking fee and the money we would have spent in the town would have been an improvement on empty car parks and empty streets without shoppers. The place looked lovely but not for us today. The cup of coffee had to wait – perhaps we would manage a visit at another time. .
Instead we headed for the Sacrario at Redipuglia. Fogliano Redipuglia is a commune in the Province of Gorizia in Italy. It is located about 35 km northwest of Trieste and about 13 km southwest of Gorizia. . Fogliano Redipuglia lies at what was the eastern end of the shifting front of the Italian Campaign against Austria- Hungary and Germany during the First World War. For those interested the campaign overall featured the dozen or so Battles of the Isonzo where a heavy defeat for the Italians left 11,000 killed, 20,000 wounded and 265,000
captured. Today it is home to Italy's largest war memorial on Monte Sei Busi in Redipuglia.
100,000 Italians are commemorated there and the steps rise up the hillside with the names of the dead inscribed into them. The huge war memorial from 1938 contains the corpses of 39.857 identified Italian soldiers, and 69.330 unidentified. In a nearby cemetery are buried another around 14,000 Austro-Hungarian soldiers. Interesting trench fortifications can be seen next to the war memorial, as well as a display of large WWI artillery pieces.. A peaceful site now. There are old rusting machine guns, gun emplacements, trenches and memorials made up of rusting wire and wire cutters, helmets and hand guns. The place was empty as we made our way first up to the top of one hill which overlooked the Sacrario. We felt as if we were walking up a stairway to heaven or hell depending on what you think of the futility of war.
Our second climb of the day was up the steps to the museum at the top of the monument. There were eight steps up which led to a landing and a further eight the next level. . At each level
was a long wall on which was engraved the names of the dead. The steps went on and on, the first level names beginning with A and the top level the end of the alphabet. It went on forever it seemed. The names just went on and on. The futility of war came to mind as I read name after name and pondered on the money spent and effort put in to build such an evocative and impressive monument to the dead. The museum sadly only opened at weekends so we were unable to visit. We finished our visit off with a sandwich and a coffee at the small cafe at the bottom of the site before moving on down the road to our next destination.
Our stop for the night was Camping Mare Pineta set in pine woods overlooking Sistiana and the Bay of Trieste. We were up above the town on the cliffs which was great for a view but what we didn’t know was that the disco below bellowed out disco music at night and this wafted its way up the cliff keeping us awake. Beyond Trieste we could see the hills and woods of Slovenia-
a very tempting view.
Quick showers and clean up – facilities were excellent and we got talking to a German guy and his wife who had spent years sailing Croatian waters in their boat. They extolled the beauty of the Croatian islands and recommended we tried them. They had sold their boat and now used a motorhome as their mode of travel instead. We spent the afternoon doing nothing - sometimes that is what holidays are all about . We walked around the site and sampled granitas which were not half as good as those in Mantova. Ideas were fermenting on a trip to an island in Croatia. We got on the internet to do some research. We are noticing the difference in Internet access in various sites. Some have none at all. Others limited access in part of the site – Sistianas was just by the pool area which was Ok on a good day but poor if it rained.. One or two sites had 100% access over the whole site. Prices vary too from free to a few euros for an hour or two to extortionate prices.
Due to the trees we heard cuckoos and owls
at night hooting for dear life. In the evening we frequented the local shop and bought a huge flagon of cheap wine 5 euros for enough wine to make us look like seasoned alcoholics. Who cares what it tastes like – the price seemed good enough for a tipple each night.
The next morning we had decided to visit Trieste . This was not on the agenda or plan but somehow we felt that there was nothing in Sistiana so a bus ride to Trieste might be a good idea. Again Plan B came into operation. It was easy to buy bus tickets as reception in the campsite sold them for 4 80 euros each for a return ticket. The buses ran every half hour from right outside the campsite so these were bought in readiness for the trip and we were told that we needed to validate our tickets in the yellow machine on the bus.
Heard that Manchester City won the Championship which is not good news for a United fan that I live with and that Dalglish has been sacked from Liverpool. We could not get any TV apart from programmes on Hotbird. They are Ok but got fed up of news on a continual loop. There is only so much news you can take in one day.
Still loving the motorhome life, it is giving us the freedom to change our minds about what we can do. If we enjoy a site we stay . If we get fed up we move on something we could never do in a gite. Tea was a lovely mixture of potatoes fried in olive oil and rosemary with ham. Simple fare but tasted magnificent sitting in our little plot overlooking the Bay of Trieste and the blue blue Adriatic. Strange how sitting under the fig trees with a glass of wine thoughts turn to the next holiday. The gardens of Italy, the sunsoaked mediterannean of Spain, northern Spain or the bastide towns of southern France. Who knows where September will lead us and Suzy. Somehow who cares is more to the point.