Saturday, June 25, 2011

My first overseas trip: a year on- Milan

25/06/2010- Milan

The train From Como to Milan was, in true Italian style- LATE. Other passengers missed their connecting trains because of this, they obviously had not heard the news about Italian transport- it’s not to be trusted.  LOL...

Upon arriving in Milan, I decided not to waste anytime, dropped my luggage off at the hotel and walked to Il Duomo. In typical Matthew fashion, I got lost! However in doing so, I walked through a lovely city garden that had a small lake and had my first taste of ice cream since I had been overseas, it was brilliant! I somehow ended up in small, meandering lanes and came across a temporary discount clothing store!! SALE !!!  YAY!! So, I brought myself some new shorts. I had only brought one pair of shorts along on this trip and thought, Hmm a different colored pair would open up my wardrobe/outfit options…I am in Milan after all ! But still, No Il Duomo…After asking many people for directions and hearing; a destra !!, giro !!!, a sinistra etc... I became more confused and just followed their hand actions... After one false alarm, I eventually I found Il Duomo. It is simply beautiful and huge !!! I brought some rosary beads for my sisters back home and was informed I would need to have a priest bless them, apparently this was done at the confession booths...

Three Monsignors were on duty and the pews were full off old ladies waiting…Man !!! how many sins have these pious old ladies committed??? no disrespect, but I had to wait for at least 45  mins! These pious old ladies were in confession for ages!!!  The monsignor I saw, didn't speak English, so in my broken Italian, I told him these rosary beards were a gift for my sisters in Australia... he smiled, blessed them, and them wished me all the best… Hot and tired I walked back to the hotel and became lost again. At one point I felt so completely lost I just decided to follow a man on a bike who had the most happy and handsome face.. what the hell ??? Miraculously he led me in the right direction. God does work in mysterious ways !!!

After resting at the hotel, I headed out for dinner at a trattoria, wondered into a dodgy part of town and was harassed by some female prostitutes looking for clients, YIKES!!! Didn’t they get the memo??? Back at the hotel afterwards, I was exchanging soccer scores with my brother (he was watching the Australian match and I was watching the German one).

My second day in Milan saw me return to Il duomo to climb to the top (well… actually I  took a lift up) and took in the lovely views. Sitting on the roof I wrote in my book and looked out over Milan. I later met my Dad's cousin for lunch, passed on my sisters regards...on his advice I walked to Castleo Sforzesco, which was huge and impressive. Milan is huge and filled with so many lovely buildings. During my stay the weather was quite warm (about 30 degrees), but there was no real breeze to bring any relief. 

now.... the train strikes.. well it had to happen, they are infamous after all. !!!

I was off to book a train to go to Lyon in France on my last day and after joining a HUGE queue at the train station booking office.....I eventually arrive at the counter and was told that the French are on strike for 2 days (today and tomorrow), but Italy is running as normal,  so I asked to book a ticket to Torino. The agent said there was no need to reserve a ticket and just come back here tomorrow at 11.15am at the platform and jump on the train. He then waived me off. It was obvious he did not want to talk to me anymore. I was going to book accommodation, but something said to hold off.... anyway... so after my huge day of walking, I happened to pass a booking office for DB ! The German train service !!  YAY!! they rock my world with their organisation, politeness and after I had showered and thought about what I might do next.... thinking that if France is still on strike come Sunday.. and I have already booked my Paris accommodation, I should get as close to Paris as possible, so that I can take a bus if the trains are still on I go to the DB (Deutsche Bahn) centre and they tell me that tomorrow the Italian trains are also on strike  LOL... good thing i didn't book accommodation in Torrino!!

At this point in time  I want to get the hell out of Italy ASAP, but don't want to waste the nights accommodation I have already paid for at the hotel I am at..  LOL! Tight butt I know !!! Anyway, I have booked to go to Mannheim (in Germany) tomorrow via Zurich.. its about a 7 hour trip... and will bring me closer to Paris to catch a bus in need.... Despite the Italian train strike going on, the lady at DB double checked and was really positive that this train will leave tomorrow. We had looked at another one, that left earlier, but she wasn't confident about that particular train. So, it looks like I am going back to wonderful Germany !!!

Next- Mannheim 

Stumbling into a lovely park:

The city's beautiful buildings:

Dated 1772!!!

The main train station:

History is everywhere:

Il Duomo:

On the roof of Il Duomo:

Classy and expensive shopping:

Castleo Sforzesco:

The castle has a map of the old city of Milan:


  1. another fabulous post. great photos and i must admit you made me chuckle. you send memos to ladies of the night? do same ladies actually get memos. too funny.

  2. Well, I just assumed that memos went around stating that i was G.A.Y.... isn't that how it works when you come out??
    Ummm... possibly not.. ;)