Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 30: Milano to Lyon

I've made it a month. Start collecting your bets.

I arrived in Milan looking forward to a new city and another Couch Surfing experience. Sloveiga, my host, told me "When you walk out of the station the buses are in a small grove to the right. Get on bus 61." These straightforward directions turned into two hours of searching for her apartment. After getting on the wrong bus and a few miles of meandering, the Metro brought me practically to her doorstep.

Arrival in Milano.
The largest and most beautiful rail station as of yet.

Solveiga is Latvian. How exotic. We hit it off right away. She taught me all about a country that I've never heard of before (but I didn't tell her that). Staying with sloveiga was the complete opposite of staying with Robby. She is a third year architecture student and she was preparing for a presentation for the duration of my visit. What fond memories she stirred up. Oh how I don't miss all nighters and absurd deadlines. Nonetheless I stayed up with her till 5 am writing a blog entry that I avoided writing all day!

I whined briefly in my last entry about my inadequate footwear. My knees hurt and I was tired of swamp foot, so first thing in the morning, I set off to find a trekking store. Little did I know it would turn into a day of orienteering. The night before I researched and found a place. I even marked it on my map. As Sloveiga left for class and I left to explore, I realized I forgot the map. That's more like it! Thankfully I wrote down the address and after about an hour and a half of "Dove via Santa Croce?" I found the store I thought I was looking for. Unfortunately for me, Trekking Italia does not sell boots – they book trips. On the bright side, they recommended a place "down the street." An hour and a week's worth of living money later, I had boots. Ja, zey are German! Off I tramped to explore Milan.

Milan is very busy. Everyone seems to be in a hurry. While I was wandering around, I saw a whole bunch of cool stuff.

Duomo di Milano. Love gothic!
The interior and pipe organ.
I enjoy finding good photos.
Bird man.
The inside of some important arch structure.
Milan has a lot of trollies and a lot of wires.
Some castle thinger.
The train station at night.
I didn't mean for this to be so artsy fartsy.
Crazy traffic!
The perfect Milan street decorations.
Shops' windows were inspiring.
I love intelligent people!
I don't think this tree grew on its own.

Later that night Sloveiga and I went out for some authentic Milanese aperitif. Aperitif is a wonderful meal that businessmen in Milan invented. I'll testify, there's nothing better after a long day. Technically it's served before dinner, but I can't imagine eating anything afterwards. Essentially, you buy a drink and get access to a buffet. Then you can gorge yourself on delicious pastas, meats, sandwiches, cheeses, desserts until you pop.

A small portion of the food.
Plate #32783

It's an outstanding deal. It beats going out to restaurant any day because you can eat three days worth of food for under €10. I had six plates of food. I felt more drunk from the calories than from my Negroni.

No sooner did I lay down on my couch than I fell asleep. I wasn't planning on it. I didn't want to. I slept from 11 to 10. It was awesome.

The next morning I parted ways with Sloveigna and headed out to catch a train to Lyon. Before I headed to the station I went to check out the roof of the Duomo di Milano. I'm a sucker for the gothic style.

On top of the Duomo.
"Are you lookin' at me?"
Gorgeous architecture
Too bad the scaffolding was there.
Say cheese.
Silly Tiffany store under the tree. Viva la capitalism.

I had to pay mucho euro for the train to Lyon. It was a 6 hour ride but thanks to Alice's stellar directions, I arrived safely to her apartment without a problem. I've only been here a few hours but I already love France!

Ciao Italia!

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