Buongiorno from Milan! The train journey on Thursday was pretty straightforward and we made it here in one piece. I think we passed through every possible weather condition on our way here but the sun was shining when we arrived which is all we cared about. We arrived at our hostel which is actually pretty nice (this one has one star!!) and after some difficultly with the door to our room (I sought help from our Spanish neighbour who spoke no English and it was more like playing charades than anything else) we got settled in.
Our first night here was really good! We took a little walk to b:free – a little bar that I’d read decent reviews about and it lived up to the hype. The bartender was so friendly and he showed us juggling tricks with bottles and cocktail shakers that he knew from bar tending competitions. We all swapped life stories and he’d actually been to bristol which was pretty cool. A side note for anyone in/near Milan – the cocktail menu here was insane, and many of them had been created by Mr Bartender and are all well worth a try (although two had us pretty inebriated).
We also met two funny guys there and we had a little karaoke sesh with a few Queen and Elton John classics thrown in for good measure. Their Italian banter between each other was then partly translated to us which made for many amusing conversations; they even offered to show us the best sights of Milan.
I woke crazy early yesterday morning but I got to watch the sunrise which was really beautiful. Yesterday afternoon we sat in the park and whilst I wrote this Sophia read her book. The weather was lovely, not as hot as Rome but still rather gorgeous.
Yesterday afternoon our Italian friend gave us a tour of Milan – showing us the cathedral, which was stunning to look, the shopping centre and Rectangle of Gold which smelt like perfume and cigarettes… Italy in a nutshell. We saw La Scala, the theatre where operas are held, and walked through the grounds of the castle which were beautiful.
There was a little lake there filled with ducks and turtles which was so cool! There were also hundreds of pigeons which for those of you that know my hatred of pigeons (and scummy birds in general) was a nightmare for me. By the time we left I’d had one eating out of my hand (literally) and sat on my wrist, which is completely disgusting but I guess it was some kind of weird personal achievement… or something.
Last night was amazing. Both our Italian friends (Emiliano and Mario) picked us up by car and took us to the most amazing Egyptian restaurant (El Tekkia Milano – they have a Facebook page and many excellent reviews in Trip Advisor). The ceiling had twinkly lights and there were drapes and carpets and beautiful mosaic light shades everywhere, it was like Aladdin’s cave of wonders! I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to eastern food (I’d had a couple of the dishes before but Sophia knows more about it all than me) but everything we ate was so delicious and I’d recommend the restaurant to anyone. Our waitress was Egyptian and she spoke Italian (obviously) but her English was also perfect and she translated each dish for us and was generally lovely. Her name was Sophia too which we all laughed about. Sophia, Sophia and Sophie.
We finished the night with a quick taste of limoncello and then the car ride back in a torrential downpour and the biggest flashes of lightning I’ve ever seen – pretty cool! There was of course another singalong, this time to Take That’s “Shine” as it was on the radio.
Now we have today and tomorrow to see as much as we can before heading to Munich on Monday..!