Friday, October 3, 2008

Venice, Italy to Milan, Italy - Fashion Capitol of the World

Tuesday, September 30

Another very strange night of sleep in our bunk bed hall with curtains. We got up around 7:30 am to catch our last first class train to Milan, Italy. Charlie was in charge of giving the key back to "Christmas Eve" as we named her. She instructed him to eat breakfast before we left but we had a good excuse to skip out of it today.

Our last ride in first class treated us well. We had an entire 6 person car to ourselves complete with closed door. Heather went in search of the bathroom to find 2nd class packed with people sitting and standing in the halls... kind of sort of made us feel bad with 4 extra seats, but not too bad since we were forced to pay for 1st class!?! We snacked the train ride away with banana and nutella sandwiches, yum! The scenery was nice, very typical northern italy.

We are always surprised to see how much graffiti europe has. It's actually quite sad in some of the old beautiful cities to see it scarred this way.

We arrived in Milan around 1pm and stepped in to a huge grand train station. The ceilings in the main lobby must have been 60' feet tall and all with carvings and wonderful architecture. If this is what the train station looked like we were very impressed. And within 2 minutes of walking outside we saw a super model doing a fashion shoot. Heather rolled her eyes and said... "really they are out everywhere?!" The model looked to weigh about 80 lbs and most of that being her 2' tall hair and another 5 lbs of make up. Okay enough of that, maybe we will find her a sammich to eat so she doesn't waste away.

We had rough directions to find the hostel that included a bus ride. In our directions it stated we bought the ticket on the bus. Turns out we scammed a free ride in the end... ha ha.

Milan 0, Heather Charlie 1

The bus dropped us off right at our hostel which to our great great happy surprised turned out to be a 1 star hotel. I think a one star hotel in Italy is a bit nicer than any 1 star in the states. We had a huge private balcony that over looks fountains, landscaped yards and other buildings in the square. Our our complaint would be that they seem to stick a bid-ay in any spare space in Europe... we say ick to that.

Charlie tried to take a quick nap as he's been feeling very worn down and a bit sick the last few days while Heather read. A bit later we took off explore the area around our hostel. We usually like to stick close the first night since we don't have a great idea of the streets and getting lost would probably involve a costly taxi ride home. We ate lunch at a little cafe which we were the only customers there. Charlie had penne puntensca, and Heather had the old stand by of spaghetti carbonarra. We did our usual routine of "find free wi fi" with no luck. No Starbucks in Italy and our old reliable McDonnalds required you to have a cell phone to get a text message with the code to use the wi fi. No good to us, we haven't used a phone in over a month. It was hard to get a good feel of the city being it was a cloudy day. But it wasn't hard to tell that fashion was #1 here.

Deciding a night in might be more fun than wondering around. We went back to the hotel asked for directions to the market and headed out again. To give the report of the cost of tiramisu: 1.55 Euros for a single. (if you remember that's how we gauge the price of a city). We browsed the store, which is one of our favorite things to do, looking at funny foods we dont have in the states and marveling at their fresh fish selection that may have been swimming hours ago. Our winning menu included mini croissants, paper thin italian salami, fresh buffalo mozzarella, two bottles of italian wine (under 3.50 for both!!!!) and of course: a bar of chocolate and another jar of nutella.

We had a great night in! The owner of the hotel was nice enough to give us a few classy plastic cups to drink our fine wine out of. We spent hours drinking, eating, laughing and eventually having our own dance party with iTunes playing in the background.

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