Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Next stop in Italy was Milan, aka the fashion capital of the world. We had a lot of reasons for wanting to go here: shopping, shopping and shopping! Also some valid ones like that it was close enough to Rome to go by train, and more importantly that my friend Christina who I met only once in Brno, now lived in Milan. Even though we only met face to face once, we kept in touch through emails and chat and promised to meet again and really get a chance to hang out!

The first thing I noticed when I got off of the train in Milan was the pollution. It was really hot (I think I might have mentioned that once or twice in my previous posts) and it felt like this thick air just hits you. Christina was nice enough to meet us at the train station and take us to her apartment. I was really surprised by how old the trams are in Milan, even Prague has nicer ones. After a couple of hours of chit chat, and my sister realizing how Christina and I became friends, we headed out for dinner. I’m not gonna mention what we ate because its embarrassing to admit but I’m sure you can guess.

Here’s the next thing I noticed in Milan; MOSQUITOES. Hundreds, thousands of those sneaky little buggers ate me alive while I was there. I seriously had whole colonies of bites forming on my back. Everyone in Milan carries bug spray in their purse because it was so bad this year. Apparently one of the canals dried out and the heat only added fuel to the fire. Somehow though, bug spray was no match for them.

We ended up going for drinks in this district along the canal. There was tones of restaurants lined up next to one another and packed to the brim with people. I really liked the relaxed atmosphere of just sitting around having some drinks and people watching!
The next day Anela and I had our first proper sleep in for our whole vacation although I’m not sure that it counts because I woke up about a million times during the night because of the heat. Our only goal for the day was to go shopping, I didn’t even look at what there is to see in Milan other than the Duomo which is the big Gothic Cathedral. Pretty impressive I might add. We didn’t get to go in because we forgot to wear shirts that cover our shoulders. If I had it my way that day, I would walk around with nothing on. The other touristy thing we came across was in the mall in the main square. There is a bull on the tiles along the floor and you are supposed to spin 3 times on your heel on the bulls balls! Now all that is left is a big hole from all the spinning.

The last thing I noticed about Milan was how expensive it is! I think we had a cappuccino and a croissant for breakfast each and it came to about 15 euros. Certain parts of the city scream expensive too; the cars, the clothes, the fancy restaurants, its definitely a lifestyle for those who can afford it.

We didn’t have as much luck with shopping as we thought we would. Yes there are the big Gucci, Prada and Versace stores but those are a little out of my price range these days. Anela looked at a tiny card holder from Prada which was 125 euros. Ridiculous! We managed to find a couple good buys before heading home. Later on we realized that we had missed one street that looked like it had a lot of good stuff.

It didn’t help that we were both coming down with the flu so our energy level wasn’t very high. I barely got myself through the rest of the evening as we went for drink at this outdoor bar behind the castle. And that night I actually had the chills and covered myself with a blanket even though it was still 30* outside. Not a good way to end my vacation.

I think I would need to spend more time in Milan to get a proper view of it. My initial reactions weren’t good but the more we walked around and hung out, the more it grew on me. Christina says that it’s a great city to live in other than the expensive part. I’m interested to see where our next meeting place will be!


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