Trip to Milan
Kudos to Kamil Paral <http://kparal.wordpress.com> for all the nice pictures!
It’s 3.10 AM, and Kamil and I meet at the Brno bus station, to begin our trip to Italy. I did not sleep, so I’m really looking forward to those comfy seats of the Student Agency bus. We embarked in the half-empty vehicle, got our headphones, tried out the new ‘one-screen-per-person’ interface (games!), and then I slept all the way to Vienna. I guess that nothing special happened, since we arrived on time, and unharmed 🙂
We then found the right part of the Airport, and checked in. As we found out later, we made it to the gate just on time – we were the last ones, actually 🙂 After a quick trip all over the airport, we arrived to the Fly Niki airplane, and took our seats. I must say, that seeing night Vienna from the sky is awesome experience. Once again, the flight was absolutely awesome (even though I was hoping for a storm or at least some turbulence…), we even received complimentary breakfast – the last “real bread” for the next 4 days to come.
After we successfully claimed our bags, we bought tickets for a shuttle to Milan, and rushed out. According to the time schedule, the trip from Malpensa Airport to Milan Centrale Station should take 45 minutes. Well, it’s Italy… You guessed it right, it takes twice the time 😀 Although it might have been thanks to the highway full of cars, I think that it’s just the Italian nature.
OK, so we’re on Milan Centrale, and we’d like to get to the Hotel Diablo. HUGE kudos to Kamil for printing out the map of Milan public transport. Awesome idea, which helped us _a lot_ during our stay in Italy. After few minutes of walking around, we managed to find the tram station. Minor victory of ours. But then again, it won’t be Italy, if things were straightforward. Only naive tourist would think, that there will be some ticket machine, or at least public transport office in the Central station, where all the foreign people arrive. No, it’s not that easy. You need to find a nearest tobacconist, and buy your ticket there.
We were quite lucky, since the man in tobacco shop had excelent english. We then got inside the tram, and hoped, that all the surprises are over. Once again, we were fools to believe in this nonsense 🙂
A short tram trip and walk later, we managed to find the correct address, but not the hotel. There was just a huge barred entrance. After a while, Kamil started to read the signs on doorbells, and found a tiny “Hotel Diablo” sticker at the bottom. Yes, Hotel Diablo is located inside another building 😀
There was a rasta-looking guy on reception, who told us, that because of some (unspecified) problem, they can’t acomodate us, but arranged a room in another hotel (about 2 kilometers away). He gave us a map, and so we continued our walk through Milan.
The (possibly most important) thing one needs to know, while traveling on foot, is “Be fearless, or you won’t cross the street”. The people boldly jumping in front of the cars reminded me of my trip to Romania, where it is absolutely the same. So two kilometers and few near-death experiences later, we arrived to the *** Hotel Mayorca. The room was not yet ready, so we decided to wait on reception. Here, I’d like to point out the biggest difference between one star and three stars hotel – free wifi. There is none 😀 Other than that, I guess it’s the same. Our room was not particulary awesome, but not the worst ever either, so apart of the wifi problem, it was probably a good deal. We (Kamil) also “somewhat solved” the internet problem by talking the reception clerk into changing our breakfasts for a 5 hours wifi voucher (yay, geek time!).
Trip around milan, pt. 1
After our find-a-hotel escapade, we went for a walk adound Milan. Using the ‘nicely painted buildings’ on the map as a guide, we have seen local “Cita Studi” (University town), and then decided to take the underground train to the city centre. After arriving to the Lanza station, we went to the “Castello Sforzesco” – very nice castle with even nicer public garden.
Here, we had our next “How to survive in Italy” experience. Do not ever let those “senegals” stop you or talk to you (unless you want to end up with some useless junk in your hands). We made a mistake, and payed one euro for it 🙂
The gardens are… gardens 🙂 Nice, but nothing special. The interesting thing is, though, that the “water stations” or “public wells” (forgive me for not being able to name it better), contain drinkable water. I did not know it, and so suffered from dehydration for quite a while.
On the other side of these public gardens (“Parco Sempione”), there is a (yes ‘a’ since there are few other) Triumphal Arch (“Arco dela Pace”). I found this particular one the best looking.
The last touristic point on our list was Milan Cathedral (“Duomo di Milano”). It was absolutely breathtaking, even though I’m not a Christian, it’s always a great experience to stand silently in a huge cathedral and admire the skill of all the architects, constructors and artists. I’d absolutely recommend visiting Milan just to see the Duomo. But be sure to take modest clothes – I had a “Trousers too short sir!” problem at the entrance, but managed to sneak between the guarding policemen and soldiers.
Since I was really tired, and my feet started to hurt a lot, I talked Kamil into returning to the Hotel. On the way home, we browsed through local shopping pallace, where even the McDonalds has its sign golden. Great place to buy Prada, Louis Vuitton and other designer items though.
Once we were back in the hotel, I fell into a coma just after laying down “to read something”. I just hope, that I did not scare Kamil to death by sleeping 16 hours in a row 🙂