Piran, Slovenia

Pacha Mama, “Mother Earth.”  This was the name of the apartment company that rented us our humble slice of heaven this weekend in Piran.  Our place is the light blue one, fourth from the right.

DSC_1422.jpg

It was nothing fancy, located in the center of town along a pedestrian walkway, facing a cozy harbor of fishing boats.  The windows let in sunlight and the sounds of rolling waves, and outside there were clinks of bicycle bells and people laughing.

This was the scene when I leaned out of the window before sunrise.

DSC_1607 (1).jpg

DSC_1602

This was the scene when I turned back inside.  Mmm, vacation breakfast!

DSC_1654

DSC_1655

Piran sits at the tip of a peninsula that defines the coastline of Slovenia.  It was designed and ruled by the Venetians a millenium ago, and you can tell by the beautiful attention to architectural detail that yes, we are under the influence of Italy.  Cafes in Giuseppe Tartini Square are filled with fashionable people sipping drinks, silky piles of gelato come in flavors like hazelnut and blood orange, and there are Vespas parked on the sidewalk.

DSC_1626.jpg

DSC_1233.jpg

The language is Slovenian, sort of a soft version of Russian.  Who knew that an Italian accent can make even Russian sound pretty!  We didn’t know much about Piran before we came and are pleasantly surprised to find that the northern Adriatic coast is a very beautiful place.

DSC_1147.jpg

DSC_1477.jpg

DSC_1148.jpg

It was so nice here that instead of driving around Slovenia to see ice caves and castles and water parks like we’d planned, we decided to just stay put.  Piran is small but had enough to keep us busy.  We watched the fishing boats for hours.

DSC_1425.jpg

There was a bell tower to climb,

DSC_1130.jpg

DSC_1145

Beaches full of rocks,

DSC_1418.jpg

Frisbees to throw,

DSC_1187.jpg

Coins to smash,

DSC_1219.jpg

And ice cream every day, sometimes twice.

DSC_1438.jpg

Every time we left our apartment we encountered twisted stone alleyways full of laundry and cats, skinny young men wearing sunglasses and flat sneakers, and older weathered men sipping cigarettes or lugging nets full of fish.

DSC_1516.jpg

DSC_1242 (1)

Jake and Eli joined in with the other kids playing along the waterfront.  The stones were perfect for skipping!

DSC_1557

The sunlight at this time of day was like gold, with little bits of unexpected magic.

DSC_1549.jpg

DSC_1556

DSC_1533.jpg

In the evenings back at our apartment we drank gin and juice and played UNO, and discussed whether we like Harry Potter or The Goonies better.

DSC_1204.jpg

Jake and Eli are finally old enough to really understand The Goonies, and this Venetian-style sea port was a great place to descend into the world of pirate ships.  Jake’s favorite character was the responsible older brother, while Eli thought Chunk was funny and kept quoting the line about marijuana, cocaine and “always separating the drugs.”  Seriously, how does he pick up on those things?

DSC_1388.jpg

In the meantime, Jake can’t stop watching Navy Seal Training videos.  There is something equally abnormal about this one!

DSC_1524

Along with its local flavor, Piran is a tourist town which means restaurants at night are full unless you have a reservation.  Our favorite was the fish platter from Fritolin Pri Cantini, enough to feed four.  Mike was so hungry one night he ordered us two!

DSC_1577.jpg

DSC_1580

I don’t think either of us has ever eaten so much calamari.  Grilled and fried, spread over slices of grilled polenta, there was also sea bass and tiny little fried fish with the heads still on.  Mike and I ordered house wine that came straight from a barrel, and the boys got their own special vacation drinks.

DSC_1252.jpg

DSC_1256.jpg

Somehow, we managed to finish it all and still be hungry for more seafood the next day. We are reminded once again that Jake and Eli are great dinner companions, keeping busy with their doodles and drawings and writing down the details of our menu.  They are really fun to take to restaurants!

DSC_1260

DSC_1268.jpg

Every time we take a vacation I think it’s the best one we’ve ever had.  Maybe this means I’m losing my mind and I can’t remember anything, but anyway, I’m happy to say this one is again the best!

DSC_1426.jpg

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s