Thursday, November 6, 2014

Toussaints #2: Milan

Milan: where I fed pigeons, rode in a barfed-in tram, tried to explain the difference between carbs and proteins, and where we were disappointed

Milan: the center of fashion and finance. It sucked, I'll just go ahead and immediately kill any hope you may have for an interesting post. To be fair we were really only there to catch the plane to Budapest.

Maybe I'm being too harsh. They do have their famous Duomo, which is a very impressive church. I'm bummed we didn't go up to the top, (but it was expensive). And I'm sure there are other cool things to do in Milan that we missed, but I would say it was the least interesting city we visited.

We got up at 5:00 am (be warned, this whole getting up at the butt crack of dawn theme continues throughout the whole trip) to catch covoiturage #2 to Milan. The man was an hour late,but eventually he showed and sped so much that we ended up getting there on time anyways. There were two other people in the car, Chelsea talked with them for a while but I was being anti-social and trying to sleep.

Honestly, I was so tired in Milan I barely remember it. We saw the Duomo, where I stuck my hand out to see if a pigeon would land on it. Within ten seconds some guy had put seeds in my hand before I could say anything, then as I was walking away he asked me for money. Psh, yeah right. That's what I hate about touristy places, everyone just sees you as a dollar sign.

We walked around a ritzy mall, tried and failed to find an office of tourism, rode back on a tram that someone had barfed in (it was really gross). We visited the Sforza Castle and then walked through the park behind it. After that we wandered, got a bit lost, wandered some more.

By the middle of the day we had ended up in what I think was the finance/business-ey area (I don't know, there were a lot of really shiny buildings with water in the middle). At this point I was so tired I started to sway and I was scared I would faint. No sleep, no protein, I'm not surprised. I bought some water, gulped it down and sat among the shiny buildings and the nicely-dressed people. At this point, I'm going to be honest, the trip started to feel like a mistake. Genoa was okay, Milan was awful, I was exhausted and tired of planning. I started to think I should have stayed in Grenoble, maybe taken a nice four-day trip to the north of France, gone for a few runs, maybe checked out the climbing gym and gone for a hike. It was a low point.

I wouldn't recommend Milan unless you're dying to buy some overpriced pretentious clothing. We probably could have done it better, I'll admit. We could have gone into the main museum or the Duomo. I feel a little bad bashing a whole city because of one bad trip, but nevertheless it wasn't my favorite and I wouldn't go back. The best thing about Milan was knowing that we would soon be in Budapest, and I was so, so excited for two reasons: I had heard from everyone who has gone there that Budapest is an awesome city (spoiler alert: it is) and we would finally have a couple days where we could sleep.

This picture requires a bit of explaining: early on in the trip Chelsea told me that in Melbourne people put their leftovers from dinner in a wrap/bread for lunch the next day, and she saw nothing wrong with eating a pasta sandwich. I didn't want to waste food so I agreed and ate them for a few days, but I did try to explain that we couldn't eat like this the whole trip, just pure carbs, we need protein.

"What's a carb? What's protein?"

Oh boy.

I spent a good chunk of the rest of the trip trying to explain what protein is, what it does, and why it's not okay to subsist off of pasta-and-sauce sandwiches and cookies. I don't think she cared, it hurt my Seattle-ite health nut heart (which died by the end of the trip by the way, as my meals slowly consisted more and more of cookies).

Duomo: the most impressive thing in Milan, swarming with tourist traps

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, or a big ritzy mall we spent 10 minutes in

Sforza Castle
Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle and some random Roman ruins

Sforza Castle 


Park behind the castle 
Arc behind the park

Where I felt like I was going to die among the shiny things

Longest one I've ever seen

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