Our first night in Trieste was spent in a hotel because we arrived too late to find Internet, and had no other way to contact Elena, who had offered to host us. Once we did make contact, we made a new friend and had a place to stay, which was wonderful. Elena is studying natural history in Trieste. She was able to obtain a couple of grants that allowed her to do field work in behavioral biology in South Africa and Australia over the summers – we thought that was pretty cool.
When we disembarked, our second priority after securing a place to sleep, was to find some Prosciutto. Becky has been craving ham and pork products since we entered Turkey, especially Italian Prosciutto Crudo. Everyone talks about alcohol restrictions in Muslim countries, but we had no trouble with alcohol in Turkey, Syria or Jordan. We did have trouble finding pork products though. Fortunately for Scott’s sanity, we were quickly able to find some Prosciutto, and Becky was happy again.
Since the weather was rather wet, we spent the afternoon in her home. She cooked us up a yummy pasta with zucchini for lunch and we inflicted a whole pile of our photos on her (at least a thousand – scary, but she said she enjoyed the experience!). Later, we went out for a nice pizza dinner and Elena dropped us off at home – too tired to spend the night at the local pub with her. Apparently we didn’t sleep as well aboard ship as we normally do, and Scott has come down with a nasty cold, which is sapping his energy.
We have found the people we meet through CouchSurfing, Warm Showers and Servas to be uniformly interesting and friendly, and among the highlights of our trip so far. Even if you’re not a traveler, but like the idea of meeting interesting people who are travelling, we encourage you to think about becoming a host for one or more of these organizations – we have met both hosts and travelers between age 20 and 60, so there is a wide variety of interesting people using these services. If you don’t feel like offering a bed to someone, there’s the opportunity to meet for coffee or a tour of the city instead. If you’d like more information about any of these great organizations, we’re happy to share what we know. Drop us a note, or leave a comment.