Starting off in Milan

What a beginning. Distance traveling is like going in a washer machine. You end up getting turned all around and inside out. Really though, we did well. Robin ended up sleeping a good margin of the time. I got about four hours sleep but this loud redneck large couples throat clearing or hearing impared selves, or a lady on our row giggling so very loudly at the movie, or the sudden armoa’s of menthol wafting about kept me from getting any deep rest. No matter! When we arrived in Frankfurt we had some time to kill and were glad for it since their passport check was overrun and understaffed. All went well and we were soon on our way to Milan.

A surprise lay in store for us on our Milan arrival. Your probably thinking we lost our luggage, ma no! The trains were on a 24hr strike. Well this was certainly a surprise since I had checked a week before and all seemed normal. Oh well, we took a 50m bus to Milan’s Central Station and took some time getting used to where street names and our current location was. It was probably 87′, and densly humid. We sweat our way to Hotel Baveria where we were greeted by a very friendly multilingual staff. After being shown our rather tiny room (tiny was not bad here, and rather expected), I could have gone right to sleep. We know better though so we refreshed ourselves for a moment then went to find some lunch.

The trains are on strike and everywhere we have recommendations for is far enough that walking is just out of the question. Not really wanting to afford a taxi we simply asked our hotel for a suggestion and went around the corner to _Ristorante Piazza Repubblica_ where we were happily met with bottles of water, capressi, gnocchi, grilled chicken, and a couple cappachinos. This lifted us back into the “I think I can” mode and we went back to the hotel to plan our excursion for the day. Again not having trains caused a bit of an issue. We just did not account for the footpathing out of the gate. We chose to go to the Duomo since it was not a bad walk and surrounded by enough to keep us busy.

We stopped at a few parks, statues, and churches along the way. When the breeze kicked in it was very comfortable. Not having our luggage made it even more comfortable. Milan is very New York like in a fashion. Lots of shopping, lots of people, lots of cars, lots of buildings. Get it, lots? We wove our way through the city and turning one corner the Duomo was exposed like an awesome stalagtite reaching for the sky. We took our time getting up to the premise, lots of window shopping to be done, hehe. Once upon the structure though we decided to pay for the lift fee and shoot to the top. After walking all this way you think I’m going to climb all those stairs? hah). The church is beautiful in its construction and being made even more so through a rennovation. Turning molded darkened stone back into almost a pink translucent color. Very nice. Unfortunatly this left the front facade fully blocked so there was no way to see what the masses would have but the idea was there. We wanted to go in but my shorts wouldn’t allow it. Maybe next time. We were made the target of a little hustle involving bird food. A few guys run up and start shoving corn in your hand making the pigeons go crazy. They foist more on you and work for photos, etc, then ask you for more and more money. We extracted ourselves at a coule euro loss and a few photos richer. Must be careful of the artful con.

Our feet were barking a bit so we were going to head over to Teatro de la Scala. We found out that the Metro was open during rush hours (how nice), so the Scala was right in front of a line that would take us back towards le Republica. Long day longer, we got turned around, walked blocks the wrong way, walked blocks back, got on a train, got off a train, walked 5 blocks the wrong way and then the most scenic route back to the hotel. Oh my, I had earned some footsores for the day, but it wasn’t over. We decided to go to dinner down the block but when we got there we had second guesses since their menu was to english friendly (great how you make draws this way right?), anyhow, we were going to just zig zag around and find another place. 10 or so blocks later we found a place that sensed agreeable both in price and menu. We had a fairly good dinner at _Trattoria la Biata_, antipasta, wine, primi, two segundi’s, and a shared desert.

Knowing the direct route home we enjoyed a cool stroll back. We repacked what we had pulled out and did the dead man flop till my alarm went off the next morning at 6:30a where we head down for breakfast and back to Centrale Statione where we headed next to Monterosso.

Onward: Monterosso, Cinque Terre