As many of you know, I am studying at a University that is unlike any University we have back home in the States. So in saying that, one of our courses this semester was the second level of cross cultural management (how to do business throughout the world, how to deal with different cultures while doing business, etc.). The difference in the course the second semester is that it wasn’t completed in any classroom; instead, it was completed in three different cities, and in two different countries within 5 days.
Our first stop on this little adventure was Trieste, Italy. A place I will hopefully be taking Colt back to explore very soon. Trieste is the capital city of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in northeast Italy. We only had one night here, but I could tell I would love this city from the start (pasta and wine anyone?). It has quite a history (I know this because I gave a presentation on it), but I won’t bore you with too many details. Trieste’s location on the very edge of the Adriatic Sea has always defined it; it still does. From the 1380’s to World War I, Trieste belonged to the Hapsburg’s—it was Vienna/Austria’s main trade route to the sea and the rest of the world. Italian, Austro-Hungarian, as well as Slovenian influences are all evident in its layout which encompasses a medieval city and a neoclassical Austrian quarter.
Of all Trieste’s’ attractions, the Museo Storico del Castello di Miramare is the most evocative and produced some of my best photos of the trip. The castle, built primarily in the 1850’s by Archduke Maximilian, offers an extensive cliff and seashore park that spans 54 acres. Need I say more?
Our second stop of the trip was for a half-day in Koper, Slovenia. We attended a course at the local University (University of Primorska) before getting a quick guided tour of the city. I found the theme of this trip to be guided tours. Guess who isn’t a fan of guided tours?… Yup, this girl.
Lastly, we spent the majority of our trip, 3 days, in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. I was surprised at how quickly I fell in love with this city and it’s youthful vibe (which I found primarily stems from their large University population). The city was beyond charming with its’ Baroque and Habsburg inspired architecture, abundant greenery (58% of the country is covered in forest), and many riverside cafes and restaurants, which is where we spent the majority of each evening.
We had, wait for it, more guided tours. One of which was through the Ljubljana Castle, totally okay with this one, as well as several company tours ranging from manufacturing to steel production. Don’t worry, I’ll spare you from my many embarrassing hard hat and safety glasses photos. Although this is not how I would have chosen to explore these cities, I’m grateful for the experiences none the less.