So now it is before us, the very last stage. We are very excited and also full of anticipation. We actually wanted to leave early so that we could enjoy the way and still have time in Muggia before we took the ferry to Trieste. But, since the bakery opens later, our departure is delayed. Our landlady brings us fresh bread rolls, a large portion of delicious ham and a piece of cheese, as well as particles. Well strengthened and equipped with a packed lunch, we set off for the final sprint. For the first two hours we walk through a forest, first up to San Dorligo delle Valle and then down to Stramare. We hear and smell the nearby industry. In addition, the roadism is lined with clothes, shoes, backpacks and other utensils. The scale is so striking that we are already considering whether thieves up here simply dispose of the "useless stuff" or backpackers are being robbed. Someone pinned an ID card of a Pakistani to a tree. Later we learn in Muggia that in recent weeks many refugees have come across the green border here and throw away their belongings, including ID cards, and go to the nearest police station to apply for asylum. What makes sense to leave his last or her last have and proof of identity so far? Can someone just leave their identity behind? Anything that makes a point? How desperate do you have to be when you throw everything away? The further way to the Adriatic, which we only see once briefly through a small tree-snow under a grey cloud cover, is only a mandatory program. Where is the beautiful way from yesterday? It goes several kilometers through an industrial area and along a motorway driveway. Even after Muggia we walk a country road and hardly get to see the sea. The trail leads through the old town, past a church towards the harbour. At the Alpe Adria Information Centre, which is closed until 16:00 because of the siesta, ends at the last information point - in Italy it is hikers from Cottonstuhl with information about the stages and the location - our trail and we receive the 37th digital hiking needle on the app of the AAT. At home we will receive the last certificate by post.
On this last piece of the road, we had enough time for a first personal review. The path with its many facets lies behind us:
- the high mountains from the Grossglockner over the Nockberge, Kranjsga Gora, the Julian Alps and the Karst
- Carinthian lakes, the Drava, the Soca and the waterfalls
- three countries with their respective cultures, traditions and culinary Specialties, as well as many different accommodations and hosts - as well as very nice companions, whether only for a few hours, days or even Weeks
- but the end here in Muggia feels as if something has to come. As we orient ourselves briefly, Martin, an Austrian whom we met yesterday on the stage and with whom we went a bit of the way, also arrives. We share the disappointment of the last stage and miss the special charm of the end. First we go to the harbour three some more photos and treat ourselves to a big Italian ice cream, after all the best in the last three weeks, and an espresso to celebrate the day. After Martin's farewell, we visit the information centre, where we talk to a member of staff about our experiences and impressions. However, only briefly, as this is a general tourist information and the next ones were already waiting at the door. Before we take the last ferry (in autumn) to Trieste at 18:05, we at least go with our feet into the water, because there is only a small pebble beach and the sun does not want to shine any more. We take some more "finisher photos" and then put over.