Friday: I went to Milan with four girlfriends. Our flight got in at around 2:20. From there we loaded onto a bus to drive from the airport to city centre. As we flew on Ryanair the airport was no where near the city centre, so the bus trip took about an hour. (Note in the photograph below how our bus driver is talking on his cell phone and not holding the steering wheel with his other hand.)
Following the adventure on the bus we had an adventure trying to find the hostel. We decided to walk, how big could Milan possibly be, right?, and somehow I was the one with the map in my hand. Now anyone who has ever travelled with me anywhere (I mean anywhere, like to the post office) knows that I am really bad with directions. So of course a walk that should have taken us a half hour took us about three times that. In Milan all the streets angle towards the Duomo therefore they are not straight city blocks. Not only did I have us walking on the wrong streets, but many times in the wrong direction completely! Eventually, however, we did make it to the hostel, and we saw a lot of the city on the way. Once at the hostel we unpacked and then met a guy traveling around Europe on his own for 6 months, named Lasse (born in Germany but his family moved to Brazil). He had gone to a really good restaurant the night before and so he took us there for dinner. I had gnocchi with a basil and gorgonzola sauce and the most amazing tiramisu for dessert!
Saturday: Was our touristing day. We started off at a cute little cafe (with an even cuter barista) near the hostel. Then we went to the Duomo. It is the 2nd largest cathedral in Italy after St. Peter's in Rome, and it has been under construction for about 400 years (they just finished the doors in 1965). Three of us then climbed up to the top, because I knew that my parents would kill me if I didn't. Unfortunately it was really foggy, since it would rain buckets later in the day, so there weren't that spectacular of views. After that we tried to go see Da Vinci's "Last Supper" but you have to reserve it like 2 weeks in advance. Later that day we met up with some friends of ours who live in Milan, Valentina and Giorgio (Valentina is the girlfriend of one the Erin's (the girl on the left in the picture) roommates. They took us to Luini's for panzerotti which are basically mini-calzones of heaven. Above right is the line to buy one. I had a lunch one with tomatoe and mozarella and a dessert one with nutella and strawberries (nutella was pretty much on everything). Perhaps the best thing I ate in Milan. We then went to do a very touristy thing...spin on the bull's balls in the main shopping district. Now I know you probably all re-read that sentence like five times to make sure I actually said what you think I said, but I assure you it's true. The mosaic is missing the bit where the balls are supposed to be, so if you dig your heel in and spin around twice it's good luck. Then...we went shopping! I bought tan boots, a sweater, a Marc Jacob's bag (on super-sale), and marzapane.
Sunday: We once again started off at our favorite little cafe, unfortunately different barista this time although I would bet that this barista was the other one's brother. Then we just kind of wandered in an out of shops. We made our way towards the Castle Sforza, but as it was Sunday none of the museums were open so it was really just a garden with old walls around it. We then started walking toward the bus station to go back to the airport. We stopped for lunch at this restaurant called Arte Nuevo, porbably thus named because of the artwork for sale on the walls. I picked out a really good bottle of chardonnay (parents, you taught me well). Then we headed back to the
airport and got on a plane back to Spain.
It was all-in-all a great weekend! And it was so nice to see the colors changing on the trees and have to wear a sweater...It actually felt like fall! I missed that. Well, now it's back to real life, although I am still living in Europe so how "real" can it get?
¡Hasta la semana que viene!
Random photos from Milan:Upper Row (l-r): Me, Giorgio, Valentina, Lauren...Lower Row (l-r): Brianna, Erin, HilaryErin, Brianna, Me, Hilary, Lauren having lunch on Sunday
You can see the Duomo in the background. This is one of the major pedestrian walkways (i.e.. there is a lot of shopping here)