May 04, 2012

Milan…what can I say? For some it is probably an amazing experience. For me, it was an overstimulating mass of people. As you can see, we made the long journey back to Milan for a little day trip. Greg was convinced I was going to do some major shoe/purse shopping at Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vitton, etc. I was enjoying the people watching and of course window shopping. Needless to say, we came away with only one gelato each.

Our day began with a quick breakfast followed by an even faster ferry ride to Varenna. From there we ran up to the train station only to discover we barely had any money left and no tickets for the train. We were crossing our fingers on the train the whole way as we had no idea how much the tickets cost. We had 12 euro left in our pockets. You can imagine I was a nervous wreck. The conductor finally came around and sold us two tickets which we paid for in change. Pathetic Americans he was saying. So, 2 euro left and we were in the great city of Milan. For those of you who don’t know how much that is in dollars, its about $2.80. Greg quickly discovered that he had to pay for the bathroom and we couldn’t afford that so I dragged his behind around the huge train station to find an ATM.

ATM’s are really not the easiest thing to find in a large Italian city. In the States, they are everywhere. You can easily find at least three in the small town of Bethany Beach, which is only two blocks long. In the city of Milan, we couldn’t find any for about an hour. So no bathroom for Greg, no gelato for Maureen, no Metro to take us where we wanted to go. We were good sports about it though. We found a map and went in search on foot for the Duomo. It took about an hour.

The Duomo is the cathedral of Milan but also the third largest cathedral in Christendom. It is quite literally the biggest building I have ever seen. It was a beautiful day to see it as the sun glistened off the white marble and impeccably sculpted statues that adorned the Duomo in every nook and cranny you looked. We had just found an ATM before reaching the Duomo and were able to buy two lift tickets to the top to walk on the roof. It was gorgeous! This cathedral took 500 years to build and it shows. Not even the roof was left untouched. The talent these sculptors had is amazing. We began our hour long walk back to the train station with gelato in hand and were both very ready to get back to the peaceful surrounding of Menaggio.

Once in Menaggio we hit the supermarket for the staples: cheese, bread, and wine. We started cocktail hour early on our balcony and reveled in the sheer quiet of our place. Milan is a great city but filled with too many motorcycles, cigarettes, and never ending streets. I am happy to say I have been, but will probably never go back.

Today, we decided to have a very leisurely day. Breakfast was had again in the same piazza we have been frequenting and then for the best part: we played putt putt on an 18 hole course overlooking the lake with the most dramatic design you could imagine. The course was not on astroturf, as we were used to, but on painted cement. Yes, it was a little different. We were the only ones on the course so when we took 10 shots to actually get it down to the hole it did not matter. Of course, I lost as my attention span grew short but it was still very fun.

We are waiting for our friends, Neil and Sue to arrive from their home in France to join us for the second portion of our vacation. I hope to continue blogging as we drive down the coast of the Mediterranean on our final destination of Barcelona, Spain with a short stop at their house in Carcassonne, France. I have a feeling our trip is about to get a little bit more wild as these fun Brits show us a bit more around Europe.

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