When I started my current job back in November, my holiday allowance changed from ‘school holidays are your holidays’ to an annual leave model. I had a small leave allowance that needed to be used by the end of March, and so I decided to book my second mystery tour with srprs.me.
Unlike the first trip I booked with them I picked ‘Southern Europe’ as my desired destination, working on the principle that there was the chance of good weather. When the weather forecast appeared promising temperatures in the low 20s, I was overjoyed. The weather forecast provided allows you to pack appropriately, without ruining the fun of revealing the destination. I suspect that it is possible to work out your destination based on the weather forecast, however it would ruin the element of surprise.
When the countdown timer expired and my destination was revealed to be Trieste, I was really excited. It was again, a destination I would never have thought to visit, yet based on my A-level History studies I knew that it was a really interesting city, and as I sat with a terrible hangover in an overpriced airport restaurant, I started to research my destination in more depth. A number of travel websites suggested a day trip to Venice which is a mere 2hrs away by train, others suggesting forays over the border towards Slovenia. I decided that I’d see if Venice was worth the hype…
I decided to take an early train from Trieste to Venice in the hope that I’d manage to dodge the crowds. Unfortunately, the train was delayed as a car had ignored the level crossing and was promptly written off by a descending barrier, meaning that my arrival in Venice coincided with the arrival of what felt like thousands of fellow tourists.
Most people go to Venice to experience the Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s Square and an exorbitantly priced trip on a gondola. I was not one of those tourists. Instead, I decided that I’d wander about and see what I could find. I did of course venture into St Mark’s Square before making a hasty departure to the cooler, quieter side streets with their beautifully coloured buildings and bustling markets. I sampled the best strawberry gelato, ate pizza, drank Aperol spritzes and wandered until my feet ached before taking a water bus back to the train station in time for the train back to Trieste for an afternoon walking around the city.
Back in Trieste, I wandered from the station to the docks at a very leisurely pace, making time for more gelato and an espresso before heading back to the promenade to admire the sunset over the Adriatic.
Sunday morning dawned and I decided to splash out on a lavish breakfast in the main square of Trieste. It was one of the biggest extravagances of the trip, but so worth it! I spent a pleasant couple of hours drinking cappuccino and people watching, including an overexcited opportunistic Labrador stealing an old man’s breakfast on the next table!
From there I headed back to the promenade to sit in the sun and read my Kindle until it was time to head back to the airport.