Koper in Slovenia not Copa in Cabana
But it is pronounced the same……………..
We moved on down the coastline to Koper in Slovenia. Slovenia has a very short coastline of about 27 miles wedged between Italy and Croatia to the south. It is our first stop on the way south along the coastline of the former Yugoslavia, broken up in the 1990s into various small countries based on their ethnic backgrounds. We went off on a bus trip down the length of Slovenia’s coastline and when reaching the Croatian border headed inland to a small village on a high ridge line looking out over the green valleys.
Unfortunately, the weather going down the coast was not great. It was very overcast with the seascape coated in a light mist. In bright sunny weather the views out over the islands would have been spectacular. We stopped in at the seaside village of Piran for a walk around the Venetian inspired streets and waterfront. This is a tourist hideout in the summer. The town is slowly depopulating and being let out to tourists for the season, which runs from mid April through to mid October. Real estate has gone through the roof. Tourism is the country’s biggest industry. The weather improved a bit while we were here with some blue sky and sun.
Up at the village of Padna we were welcomed by a solo musician playing some traditional instruments. He had a big grin and was looking for tips, just like a busker on the streets of Brisbane or Sydney, or even Queanbeyan for that matter.
The main game in the village was to taste some local foods and wine. It was a small place and 3 centres of tastings had been arranged in various parts of the town. There were also some local handicrafts and produce for sale. It was a hive of activity and the townsfolk had obviously done this before a few times. Ah, those tourists, they are good for a Euro or two! Part of our deal was that we were each ‘given’ 5 tasting vouchers. As it turned out these were worth 5 Euros. Not a bad deal for what was available at the stalls. We had some pieces of asparagus lasagne, a secret family recipe, along with some rather nice truffle pasta. Some apple struddles (? don’t have the dictionary with me), baked sweetened pastry pieces and strawberry tarts followed. All washed down with some rather very local red and white wines. You could go back for the food but the wines were not to our overall liking, not being picky of course.
After our eating and drinking it was back to the bus and Koper for a short wander around the old town and the waterfront. Tito Square, named after the friendly old communist dictator, is the main square in the town. A Venetian palace along with the Cathedral dominates the square.
Back at the waterfront we strolled the somewhat deserted beach. The beaches seem to all have a sand less shoreline, mostly pebbles and there always seems to be a pier of sorts that allows people to wander out to deeper water for a plunge. Watched over by lifeguards of course!
Back on board the Viking Star we set off for Croatia.