Thursday, 25 August 2011

A Day in Koper, Slovenia

15 August 2011. After a day at sea the Thomson Spirit arrives at a country that we've never been to before. We dock at Koper in Slovenia and find ourselves with an easy walk from the ship's gangplank into the heart of the medieval city.

Koper sits on the opposite corner at the top of the Adriatic Sea, across from Venice.

The Venetians in Medieval times were the dominant naval force in the Mediterranean and many ancient cities along the coasts of the Adriatic show significant Venetian influence.

The photograph shows the Loggia Palace on the left, parts of which date back to 1462 with an upper storey added two hundred years later. Facing us is the Praetorian Palace, on the site of two earlier municipal halls. One was here from 1254 but was destroyed during a revolt in 1348. Its replacement hadn't been finished by 1380 when a raid from Genoa destroyed it and the rest of the city. The present palace was started in 1452.

The old part of Koper isn't that big, but has plenty of interesting sights. We came across this railed off drinking fountain with two entrances governed by turnstiles to stop children rushing in and out. It works as the child who tried it whist we were there banged his head on the turnstile and stopped running quite abruptly!

We came out of the old town a different way than we had gone in and found ourselves faced by a very attractive view of the Adriatic and a marina.

We sat for a while on a bench and applied a bit more sun lotion in order to fry rather than roast... It was H-O-T!

So we were tickled to find this framework blasting out jets of frosty mist! By the time you had walked through the heat dried off any moisture that you may have picked up!

Behind it was a shopping centre and this delightful fountain, ringed by more benches. We sat on one and Fran packed me off to buy ice creams from a stall on the marina. Another couple from the ship came out of the shopping centre and sat staring at the air conditioning jets. "Don't you get wet?" the woman asked suspiciously, whilst moaning about how hot it was.

We walked back to the ship and came to this resort area. It was absolutely crowded with people of all ages, sunbathing, sitting, swimming in the cordoned part of the sea whilst a massive container ship nudged its way past only a few yards away.

We walked through to get to the ship. Fran pointed me the way past a couple of girls sitting on the grass with their backs to us. They had bikini bottoms on but nothing else. I sighed... Now to show my mature character by not turning round as I walked past. I strong-heartedly strode past them.

"Can we get that way?" asked Fran. Oh... damn... I had to turn to answer her... Gorgeous that woman...

We spent the afternoon lazing about the ship. Koper is so close to Venice - our destination for tomorrow - that we again had a chance to take photos as darkness fell.

On one side of the ship, the large container ship had docked and already was lighter by about a third of its cargo of containers.

On the other side a lone excursion coach stood on the dockside in front of Koper's city wall.

Large versions of the photos: all the photos from this holiday can be found in this set at Flickr. There are still some to upload at time of writing.


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