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Published: September 11th 2019
We bought two-day transportation and museum passes yesterday, and started to use them today with a trip back down the coast to the Miramare Castle, and then on to the beach resort town of Sistiana. We got a bus to the Castle, but got off a stop too soon (the stop said "Miramare" in our defense!). We walked in the wrong direction, but finally found a path down towards an entrance with the help of a young woman. She told us that she has complained to the city numerous about the lack of signage!
We are at the Castle after a walk along the water, and joined large tour groups of Austrians, on a pilgrimage to bask in Austria's former glory. The Castle was built from 1856 to 1860 for Austrian Archduke
Ferdinand Maximilian and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium. Maximilian personally oversaw the construction of the castle and the creation of the botanical gardens that surround it. However, he never saw it completed, as it was "finished only after his departure in 1864 for Mexico; where after a brief reign as Emperor he was executed in June 1867. Maximilian intended to create an intimate atmosphere in the castle in
the area reserved for his family – an area which he wanted to be in contact with nature, reflecting both his own spirit and that of an epoch" wikipedia
We visited the Castle, and then walked a bit in the park.before heading back up to the main road to find a bus to take us to Sistiana, about 10 miles away. It was a long uphill walk to the bus stop, but we were pleasantly surprised when a plush air conditioned bus picked us up. The driver glanced at our passes, and motioned us on.
We walked down a long steep path to the water in Sistiana, where we followed people with mats and folding chairs to a pebble beach, where disused buildings lined the path. Once there, we claimed two chairs and umbrella, and looked for someone to pay. A young man appeared and explained that most of the chair/umbrella trios were rented for the year. He found us an unclaimed set, and charged us almost $18! I really wanted to swim in the clear, teal colored water, so while Bill said no, I said yes!
The water was cool, but not cold...and such a beautiful
color! We swam for awhile, and dried in the sun, before packing up and walking back towards the trail. In the parking lot, a mini-train appeared, and we got with the other beach goers, including a large group of children. The train took us to a large vacation club, about a kilometer from the bus stop....more walking! The same type of bus that we took to get there came by, but this time the driver looked closely at our passes and told us that he thought they might not be good for this particular bus line. He had us get on anyway, and called his office. The passes weren't good, and we ended up reluctantly paying $10 for tickets...even though we offered to just get off...
We had dinner on the canal, and watched kids play canoe polo, a real sport that combines water polo, basketball, and kayaking! Kids flipped into the water several times, but got back in their kayaks and continued to play. We stopped for gelato on the way home. The streets and cafes were crowded tonight!
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