Friday, 18 April 2014

Springtime, Seafood and a New Marathon at Koper

It is finally springtime. Would you like to go somewhere nice? Is the budget a little bit tight? Do you maybe only have time during the weekends? I've got some ideas that might help you.

In Slovenia you can find some nice coastal cities with many things to see and activities to do. For example, recently my husband and I went to Koper for the weekend. We really wanted to spend some time at the seaside but we did not have much time for it. So just a quick weekend holiday was the plan. First of all we had to find a place to sleep (the car was not an option). We found the Hostel Histria Koper. This place is really nice, clean and very conveniently located; the staff were also very friendly and serviceable. Koper is not a big city so it is very nice to just walk around without the need for transportation. You can easily find free parking 2-3 minute walk from the Hostel. So now you know a place to stay in Koper (for a very reasonable price).

Youth Hostel Koper
If you are planning to visit Koper during the weekend as we did, I strongly recommend that you arrive in the morning because many places close after 13:00 hr or 14:00 hr. 

We started at the Praetorian Palace which is in Tito's square (Titov Trg). It is a nice building and if you enjoy history you can ask for a personal guided tour. Near to the Praetorian Palace there is a very high tower which belongs to the Koper's Cathedral. If you wish to go up in to the tower for a beautiful view of the city it is definately worth it.

Author - Matej Vranič;
The Slovenian coast's architecture has some similarities to Italian architecture. Personally I enjoy the narrow streets with many small shops. If you want to go shopping or just to have a look in the many shops in the center I suggest that you go to“Via Calegaria Čevljarska.” There you can find interesting shops with homemade products, clothes, shoes, cosmetics, food, bars and many other things.

Author - Anja Žepič; 
After walking and looking around you get hungry, am I right? Well if you like to eat good food but you do not like to spend a lot of money like us, then I advise you to go to “Atrij” The food there was really good. I personally love seafood (seafood in Koper or the Slovenian coast is cheaper than in the rest of Slovenia) and this place was like heaven for me. The portion of baby calamari was inexpensive and big enough for one person. Do not think I just got the grilled calamari with a slice of lemon though, I also got french fries! So, at the end I was very full. My husband got some delicious pasta and he was very happy with it. The menu in this restaurant is quite large so do not worry I am sure that they have something for your taste.

After a good meal and walking around we all deserve a rest. In Koper you can walk around the bay and find a bench to sit down and relax or you can also sit down by the shore if you prefer. The shore has little stones so if you like to walk barefoot you can do it here without getting any annoying sand on your feet. One of the most romantic things is to see the sunset by the beach. The view of the small boats and yachts at the port is very nice as well.

Author - Patricia Castillo
If you would prefer to go by bicycle instead, let me tell you that it is a very good idea. The city has marked bicyclist paths and the people in cars respect and consider those cycling. So no worries about being run over.

During our expedition in the city we found a very peculiar place called “Kavarna Kapitanja” which is actually a cafeteria. There you can get smoothies, ice cream, cakes (raw cakes), juice and some meals. I tried a very good juice made of carrot, beetroot and apple. I loved it! I could not leave without trying the trendy raw cakes. I chose one made of chocolate and carob seeds. Everything was  yummy!

The next day (Sunday) was the first Istrian Marathon so the night before people gathered by the beach to eat and listen to the music. There was a band playing local music and two stands for food and drinks. We were at the seashore so the protagonist of the night was seafood. We bought some fried baby calamari and grilled sardines. Once again it was delicious.

Author - Patricia Castillo
We finished the weekend on Sunday with the Istrian Marathon. This event was really nice. It was not only about adults but children as well. If you come to Koper to see the marathon with your little children I am sure they will have a good time with the entertainment arranged by the organizers. 

People came from different countries to attend the marathon. Can you believe it? There were people from Egypt, Australia, U.S.A, Czech Republic, Italy, Croatia, Portugal and other countries. A spirit of internatrional sportmanship could be felt at Koper. This marathon will be held each year from 2014 on. If you like to run, attend or support such events, it is one more reason of many to visit the beautiful port city of Koper.

Patricia Castillo
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