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4:24pm on Wednesday, 5th September, 2012:

Koper, or Capodistria


Day two of our trip finds us in the Slovenian port of Koper. I've actually given you more information than necessary there, as there aren't any other Slovenian ports. Its population is of mixed Slovenian/Italian heritage, which means the town has excellent ice cream plus two names. The ship uses (Slovenian) Koper but I'd have preferred (Italian) Capodistria, as that way we wouldn't keep confusing it with Kotor (which we visit later on the cruise).

We left Venice yesterday evening by being tugged out to sea. Remarkably, the reason Venice was important in history — its protected position in its lagoon at the head of the Adriatic — still applies today, and our ship was actually docked at Venice proper, not some mainland city in the province of Venice trying to trick us into thinking it's as good as the real thing. Anyway, the upshot of this was that the route we were towed out to sea took us right past St Mark's Square:

I'm sure the ship's presence ruined the view of the tourists in the square, but hey, we got a great view of them.

Also, we were towed past this huge yacht:

If I were less reluctant to pay for an over-priced Internet access operating at a dial-up level of speed, I'd be able to look up who the owner of Carinthia VII is and either be impressed or shrug my shoulders.

So, Koper is a quite pretty town:

Well, it is when you look at the old part that used to be an island before they built embankments and acquired some more land. Look at that part and it's a different story:


Koper boasts that it has "one of the most beautiful Mediterranean squares in the north-east Adriatic region", which is hardly a powerful endorsement but it is still quite pretty:

Here's what it looks like from the top of that tower you can see in the third picture back there:

Yes, naturally the first place we went to when we arrived was that tower. After all, it's not as if there was going to be much of a queue when most of the ship's passengers are in their 70s. Here it is from the square:

As a vantage point, the tower offered views at a height almost comparable to that of the ship. Talking of which, here it is:

It's the Celebrity Silhouette, so called in order to teach its customers how to spell the word silhouette.

Some of the rooftops you can see from the tower look quite interesting:

I'm sure there's a mean jigsaw puzzle to be made there.

Koper has a good supply of intriguing alleyways leading off from the main shopping drags:

Sadly, it does not have a good supply of anti-graffiti officers. The town is covered in badly-executed tags and English swearwords.

Come to think of it, perhaps if Slovenes practiced their English more, we wouldn't see this kind of spelling on hoodies:

I like this road sign:

I'm not sure what it means, but those little triangular pigtails look like bunny ears, or, alternatively, a duck's beak.

These parking bays for buses could perhaps have been drawn a little more regularly:

Then again, given how haphazardly the locals park, it probably doesn't matter what they look like:

So that's Koper, except to say that I hope this ship has a lightning conductor as it's the tallest building for miles and there's a thunderstorm on its way...

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).