Milan trip

25. october 2008 at 17:23 | Alfred

Bit of talking about this "so unique" trip to Milan

How did it all start? I was basically informed by Lenka that I am going to Milan. (oh come on, it was a nice and romantic invitation! :o)) Kind of surprising, but interesting. She found a great deal on the net, incredibly cheap tickets. And second surprise was about the accommodation. Couchsurfing. Well, my answer, the first time was something like: couch what?! Are you sure? But I am a big boy, I am not afraid, so I said yes.

She wrote amazing emails to amazing people and even though there were some complications she prepared it up to the slightest detail. She had maps, directions, information, plans and ideas. Actually, I felt quite bad for not doing anything about it.

That morning we both went to work, school etc., not to make it too simple. Come on, it would be boring to take our time in bed and than in the afternoon just go to the airport. So we ran around the city with all our stuff, worked like mad... but anyway, we met exactly in time to catch a bus for the airport. Hmm. Actually I was there early in order to find something to eat, because I haven't eaten all day, but Lenka was already there and when she saw me she jumped on a bus that was just leaving so I had no other choice than to follow. (but I gave you the hot dog, not to starve to death ;)

Bus to the airport, checking in, boarding, flying, all as usual. I hate all the security controls. Flying quite often makes you feel like traveling in public transportation, so imagine somebody get you out of your... everything ... every time you want to hop on the tram.

We arrived at Bergamo, we found our bus and we even were so nice to give our extra 3-for-2 ticket to somebody else, so they wouldn't have to pay themselves. In Milan we found the metro and got to the center. Tired. Our back hurts from all that sitting and traveling and our stomachs were crying for something to eat.

First task was to find tram number 3. Sounds easy. One quick look around, spotting the rail and... that's not it. No number 3. Many different ones but no number 3. So we walked. Around the corner, there was another tram. Again, no number 3. This way it kept going on for another hour. May be not exactly full hour, but we managed to walk all around central square. Without finding the tram number 3. (if I were less tired and hungry, I would have found the Duomo and everything very romantic and amazing... and hell, still, it was beautiful!)

Second task was to find a supermarket. We were looking for it all the time while searching the right tram stop. Only thing we found was one commercial for Carrefour, nothing else. Not slowly, but quickly falling into a big depression. Both of us. We could compete who has the bigger one. I think it kept changing every minute. Than suddenly there it was: the familiar McDonald sign, glowing gently into the night. I haven't been in fast food for ages, I can tell I hate it. Lenka feels about the same about it. But that time, we didn't have to think about it. Food, drinks and warm place to sit. Miracle. Everything starts to look much nicer, even the right tram just passed by window, so we knew where to look for it.

After while we got up and went to get on the tram. It was actually much trickier than expected. You see your tram going but you have no idea where it stops. And there is a crossing in front of it. Not the simple left-or-right decision: this crossing has about three different rights, two lefts and, I think, also more of the straight as well. You have to imagine two people running along the tram and shouting: it's going straight! No, no! Wait! It's turning! I see, but where? Wait, wait! No, run, run, its going straight!

Enough about traveling. We reached our destination safely. Our host for the first two nights was a nice guy, Dario, in a really well designed flat. Well these Italians, you have to see their bathrooms. Also the rest of the flat was furnished with a great taste. We got to bed, and slept. Finally. (we even got our own room, and the blankets, and everything, amazing!)

Next day belonged to Milan itself. We walked through the whole city. (well, it did not seem THAT much to me, but then, I am more of a walker than alfred) At least I felt like that. It amazing and beautiful city. I will not describe what we saw. You should go there by yourself. Just a few details. Duomo is huge and really beautiful. So is the castle. And there was a sukka inside the castle! There are so many small nice streets. There are many place with a great pizza (and we had many mini pizzas), but there are no benches in the street. There are few in some parks but not necessarily. We found some and it was a perfect place for our breakfast. We were not lucky enough to make it on time to get on the roof of the cathedral. That's for the next time. (And we have seen some pretty amazing designer showrooms. And some pretty ugly designer stuff, too. And an amazing kitchen in a cupboard. Not the other way round.)

Than our favorite evening sport, searching for a supermarket. It took us a long time to find one. But we failed in searching for a bench to sit and eat. We failed in a nice way. After walking and trying we just found ourself standing by a restaurant having a "happy hour". It meant: you pay 7 Euro and eat what you can. So we sat and talked and ate drank. It was great.(I loved the seafood. And surprisingly enough, even the beer was OK. Plus it was included in the 7e. I am soooo eating at happy hours next time in Milan!)

Then home, have a little socializing conversation and go to sleep. Well not exactly, the conversation turns into electric guitar playing session. Italians are just amazing.

Saturday we had to change the host. For the next two nights we were staying at Roberto's. We got there through a market full of vegetables, clothes, hats, stuff, people and the best grapes in a long time. (I got to practice my spanish-spoken-with-an-attempt-for-italian-accent. it was fun!)

Then it was actually quite quick. Found the place, put our stuff there, little talk, few phone calls and we were heading to the party. Last information was, the man doing this party is kind of lost, uncertain if the party is possible for some reason and giving it all up. Roberto decided to go to help him and we followed. Yes, it was not possible to host a party at the the place we entered... (I haven't seen such a messy place for a long time... alfred's room is super-tidy compared to that!) So all of us started to do something. Cleaning, shopping, cleaning again, putting stuff somewhere and saying it's all fine. It was fun, I actually enjoyed all of that. Andrea (the party man) wanted to cook something. He had a recepie from the Internet. So we cooked. (Or rather baked - I think this recipe is going on my blog some time soon: easy, quick, good looking and tasty. exactly my kind of cooking.) It was a busy afternoon, but so relaxing. And the party at the end was full of nice and interesting people, good music, and a great amount of food and drinks. I usually prefer to be the one hosting a party than just attending, this time I could have a little from both.

I have to get back to how this flat we were in looked like. Behind the door in a yard, there is one room. Well that's actually it. Inside there is a space with a two couches and the kitchen in a back, small bathroom and a metal staircase leading onto a metal sublevel with a bed, wardrobe and some CD's and stereo. Simple, just right size, materials, colors, styles, all exactly fitting together.

Sunday we were invited to a donkey race. Milan couch surfing group had a meeting and it was almost outside of Milan in a village that organized kind of fair. Small kiosks in the streets, selling all kind of traditional stuff and food. Colors, people, music, smells. (This is why staying with locals is so great - we would have never gone to this place without Roberto. And it was wonderful!)

I start with this donkey race. Have you ever seen a donkey running? Or actually doing something people want, the way they want it? I haven't. But these donkeys ran. They really did about three rounds around the village. How? There was a donkey wearing bright dress (yes it sounds strange, but I have no idea how to call that bright green "blanket" over donkey's back) there was a man dragging this poor donkey and than about 15 kids running along, shouting and screaming, all dressed in a same green color jerseys. You could tell from a face of a donkey something like... no no no, I don't want, no ... but too late, already running.

Actually the whole afternoon was unbelievably exciting. Meeting people from couch surfing, from the Milan group and also some people from the rest of the world. We ate, we danced, we talked, we drank... I haven't seen Lenka being so relaxed in a long time. :o) About meeting people. They were all exciting and interesting but there were some special ones. I met a guy from Brazil and it end up with playing capoeira drunken and on the street. (I talked to him and a friend of his, later. He was Italian. But in his heart, he felt Brazilian...) One great dancer. Girl from Lithuania, I hope it was this country, she was the most drunk and the youngest at the same time carried around by almost anybody. Grandma, first dancing, and than she came back later with a rose for the dancer. And the most important was we meet Jakob. He was supposed to be our host for the first moment. But it didn't happen, because of a little organization trouble. He's originally from Sud Tirol, drinking like no one, and dancing even better. He danced with Lenka the way she made back flip! Oh, I have to learn that technique! (OMG, that was... just... omg. One moment I am dancing peacefully, the next moment I am upside down and then back on my feet, eyes wide open, still not believing what he just did to me. it was AWESOME! :o) We wanted to leave with Roberto at around 5 or six. Than we decided to leave later, around ten, and than Jakob interrupted and were leaving, I don't know, around 2 or 3. and because we took Jakob to his home, he insisted on visiting his place. That meant more drinks, Zubrovka, this time, smoking water pipe and meeting his guests. I wrote a note his notebook: Don't get close to Jakob, you'll never leave... I didn't have any clue how true I was. Finally got home and fell to the deepest sleep in a long time.

We were supposed to wake up at 5 get to the central station, get on the bus and get to the airport in Bergamo to catch a plane at 8. Long way, just the bus itself takes about hour. We got up at 7:15. Nice. My cellphone was moved to different place, that means it went off and I had to be awake and up to turn it off, but I don't remember any of these. Nothing, blind spot. (Three people sleeping in the same room. Two alarm clocks. Noone has heard anything!) Well we panicked, but for about 30 seconds. Than we thought, there is nothing to do about it now anyway, so we fell asleep again.

Waking up into sunny morning after few hours, finding a new flight. Surprisingly not even that expensive. Than buying some presents, breakfast, and saying goodbye to Milan.

It was amazing, thank you. (Oh, and you forgot the chestnuts that we had, and the roofs of Duomo we saw from the top floor, and the super-short shorts I got me and the band that played Sweet Home Alabama and the tatoos our host had and the sketches we saw at Andrea's and... and... thank you. I had such a great time! L.)

2 people judged this article.


1 eva | 26. october 2008 at 21:15 | React

no teda, to je zcela amazing: jak cesta, tak článek a hlavně pak ilustrační "fotografie" :D Začínám zelenat... závistí :)

2 | Web | 1. november 2008 at 13:15 | React


3 Caspar B | 29. march 2010 at 22:17 | React

excellent article.. I totally share the experience with not finding any supermarket in the entire Milano btu ending up in a big Carrefour somewhere.
I better dont think about how you will analyse my boring place in Berlin after I host you guys soon.

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