Sky High in Slovenia
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about my Round The World trip in November 2011, and I’ve come to appreciate the opportunity to see so much of this fantastic place we call earth. With ticket prices soaring higher each day, these memories and photographs increase in value.
One of the more interesting attractions in Koper, Slovenia is the Old Bell Tower in Tito Square. The square itself is rather enchanting, with various buildings including the Praetorian Palace. Pigeons are literally everywhere, and ever so often a horse may trot through the square, pulling a beautiful carriage. Oh, just the regular happenings in this spectacular small coastal town.
Jenn and I decided that it would be a good experience to climb the tower, so we entered the small doorway that we noticed at the bottom of the building. There was an elderly man inside who apparently was the manager/cashier on duty, and he quoted us a price of 3 euros. After handing over the cash, we were given a ticket which we would keep as a souvenir of the activity.
We started up the stairs, which comprised of narrow wooden steps and a metal railing to hold onto. The descent wasn’t bad at first, however it became steeper and if possible, even more narrow as we approached the top. When you’re outside looking up, it doesn’t seem so high, but when you’re in the middle of climbing the bell tower, every step you take reminds you of exactly how far up you have to drag yourself.
Thankfully, Jenn and I are in pretty good shape, so we didn’t huff and puff too much, but the trip still wasn’t a walk in the park. When we were almost at the top, we saw the bell and it was massive! However, it started to chime and even though the sound was melodious, our ears started to hurt. This trip definitely shouldn’t be taken by persons with sensitive ears.
During the ascent, we sometimes had to squeeze to the side, in order for the people who were coming down the stairs to have room to pass. There was only one set of stairs in the tower, but everyone tried their best to accommodate each other, and I didn’t see any problems occur as a result. Persons who are claustrophobic or afraid of heights may not appreciate this, but I didn’t have an issue with it.
Finally, we arrived at the top of the tower. The views were like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and that statement holds a lot of weight. We were high above the red roof tops of the buildings within Koper, and the Adriatic Sea sparkled in the distance. The horizon was dotted with the sails of many small ships, and our cruise ship dominated the seascape as it floated majestically in the harbour.
The viewing platform at the top was a narrow walkway where visitors could walk around to get a 360 degree view. The other side of the tower showed green hillsides, dotted with tall trees and various types of vegetation. This side of the tower showed a completely different scene from the Adriatic Sea, and I was animatedly snapping away at my camera.
Immediately beneath of the bell tower was Tito Square. The square appeared to be tiny from this height, and the people who strolled around below, looked like small toys. We were high above all the other buildings, and the view inspired me to think about how beautiful the world really is.
Eventually, it was time to start the journey back down the seemingly hundreds of stairs. Once again, we seemed to have timed the bell perfectly, because it chimed as if to thank us for visiting. The Old Bell Tower in Koper was a great attraction, and I’m very happy that I made the effort to climb all the way to the top.