Probably one of the most romantic evenings my spouse and I have ever spent together was the night we got lost on the Italian-Slovenian border, on foot. We were staying in Trieste, Italy, and Spouseling decided it would be fun to take public transit to nearby Muggia to check out some of the archaeological sites.
I remember walking through some residential neighborhoods in the hills, charmed by how everyone had plum or apricot trees in their yards and grapevines all over the place. We found a restaurant in one of the neighborhoods where we could sit outside, and they served us a bunch of local fish we couldn’t identify. At one point, we reached the border itself, with only an empty guardhouse and a post to signify the limits between lands. Thanks to Europe’s new politics, you don’t have to go through customs to go between many of the countries anymore.
Then we found the medieval ruins — I think there was an old church, and, as Eddie Izzard would say, “a series of small walls” representing where the settlement had been, hundreds of years ago. The sky was growing dimmer every minute while we were out there. As we left, we found a later church, one tiny room, on a hillside. By this time it was dark.
We realized we had no idea where we were or how to get back to Muggia-the-actual-town, but “down the hill” seemed like a good idea.
We were out there for several hours, and we wound up with no time to spare once we actually got back to the station. Being lost isn’t so bad when you’re with your favorite person and every new corner reveals beauty and inspiration! But, you know, it would have been pretty stressful if we’d missed that last bus back to Trieste…