ITALY and SPAIN:

Trieste, Slovenia, Venice, Montpelier, Barcelona, Tarragona

 

FEBRUARY 1998

 

Text and Photos Copyright ©2001 Mark E. Halliday

 

 

With good weather, the gravity survey of the French Alps finished earlier than expected.

I still had 10 days before my flight back to USA,

so I bought a train pass and headed to the Mediterranean Coast.

 

First stop from Zurich was Trieste, Italy.

This city has a flavor and architecture more like Vienna than a city in Italy.

 

No surprise, since it was the seaport

for the Austro-Hungarian empire!

 

 

 

A Roman amphitheater

in downtown Trieste

 

 

 

 

Just to the North of Trieste are the "Karst Range" limestone hills

and the border with Slovenia.

 

"Karst" has become the geologic term for dissolved limestone terrain throughout the world.

 

I crossed the border into Slovenia for the day, and visited Jamma Cave,

largest limestone cave in the world.

 

 

 

I took a morning train from Trieste to Venice.

 

On arrival, I took a boat out to LIDO ISLAND.

I had never heard of this side of Venice.

It is at the outer edge of the lagoon,

facing the open Mediterranean Sea.

 

 

 

 

An old Hotel on Lido Island

 

 

 

 

 

On the ride back to central Venice,

the Carnival crowds were thick in front of the Bridge of Sighs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carnival Mardi Gras evening

in the streets of Venice.

 

The costumes were interesting,

but the music uninspired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I still recommend

Trinidad or Brazil for Carnival ......

 

 

There were no rooms in Venice on Carnival evening.

I took the last train out that night for Montpelier, France.

 

 

 

A roman-built aqueduct still supplies the city of Montpelier

 

 

 

 

Crossing the border into Spain,

 

I toured the Salvador Dali museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then continued to Barcelona.

Catalonia!

I met my friend Nuria at the Nuria Cafe

I met Nuria in Brazil the previous year, at Iguassu Falls.

She showed me some interesting sights, like Flamenco Clubs!

 

I also visited the Miro museum,

Olympic village, and absinthe bars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The famous Sagrada Familia church of Gaudi.

 

I was surprised how much new work has been done on the site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuria and I made an interesting day trip to Tarragona,

an old Roman city on the coast an hour west of Barcelona.

 

 

The cathedral was beautiful,

with light streaming through the stained glass windows above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were unusual statues in the museum:

 

I learned the story of Santa Barbara,

who had her eyes plucked out

(as on the plate here!),

but her vision was restored miraculously.

 

 

Kiss the Devil, Nuria!

 

 

 

 

 

Text and Photos Copyright ©2001 Mark E. Halliday