Sunday, October 4, 2009

Seabourn Spirit 2009 Food & Wine Cruise - Doing It The Iamboatman Way

Note:  As the internet was effectively non-functioning during most of the cruise I have posted a number of blog entries all at once.  Be sure to start at the bottom and work you way up to this one.

The next day, our last, was Trieste, Italy. I had booked a tour which was to highlight some castles and local wines, but I was pretty toured out after our Slovenian guide, Montenegro being such a disappointment and Otapaji being just OK, so I cancelled and went with another couple for a walk around town.

Trieste is a beautiful town with wonderful architecture, lots of cafes and shopping. In a typical Iamboatman manner, we looked at this café and that café for a place to have a coffee. And then I saw “the place”. It was an ancient wine bar called La Tecia which was oozing: rounded brick ceilings, wooded arched supports and tiny tables crammed into dimly lit spaces. We ordered two local wines (Fantin Nodar Friulano Tocai - a white; and Lis Neris Bottigua - a cab) and a platter of salami, prosciutto and fresh ham and another of a variety of cheeses.

There we sat for a couple of hours thinking, “This is the best”. It was. I had another great food & wine moment and it was with my wife and good friends happened upon by accident and enjoyed feeling just a little bit like a local.

A bit of power shopping thereafter (always dangerous after drinking wine for two hours!) and it was time to return to the Seabourn Spirit to pack and for a final soak in the forward spa watching the world go by and talking about nothing.

A final excellent dinner with great service and wonderful food (duck breast), coupled with a nice Cote de Rhone and it was off to the Club as it was a bit too windy for the Sky Bar. David, a proper butler (and a quirky, but charming young man), prepared my final cigar – and he is magic with it – and it another memorable moment on deck, watching the seagulls and terns fishing in the water lit by the lights of the Seabourn Spirit as we sailed out of Treiste.

It was, alas, time for the 2009 Goldring Travel Food & Wine Cruise to come to an end.

I will provide some final thoughts separately.