Trains, Planes and Blistered Feet – Part Five

We were saying goodbye to Italy! We were a little sad, as we had some good adventures here, and the overall view was a good one, but we had better climes ahead. We were heading for two major metropolis cities, full of life and culture; Paris and London. However, today was going to be an easy one, as we had a seven hour train journey ahead of us to Paris.
Luckily, I am a stickler for checking things, and when I arose today, it was no different, and a good thing to. I assumed last night we had to go to the Milan Centrale Station for the Paris train, and luckily I checked the tickets a second time in the morning, and found it was in fact: Milano Porta Garibaldi. I had no idea of where this was, and how much time it would take, so we quickly surveyed the location, thanks to Google Maps (once more), and realised it was the same distance as Centrale. We set off, saying a fond farewell to the Renaissance flat we had called home for 3 days.
En route we discovered that Milan’s cultural label extended to architecture, in the form of the impressive herbaceous forest tower. I wondered as we past how nice it would be if all the hires towers were so wonderful and eco-friendly. Time was upon us though and we were still half way to the train station. We arrive there in good time however, and sat and stared at the timetable board waiting for our train to last up. Once again, the bad rumours were let down by the train being on time. Paris here we come.

For such a long journey I would have though the seating would have allowed for some leg room and space. However we found ourselves in a typical train seat with no table. Lythia was happy as the trains all had recharge sockets at each seat. I shunted off to the refreshment carriage to get that much needed coffee and a snack. It was going to be a good rest, but a long journey. So we sat down and watched the view.

One of the great parts of the train journey is the travelling through the Alps. We saw almost every type of weather condition on this part of the journey; snow, rain, fog, clouds, but one thing above all, it was breathtaking. At a mid-point the train came to a stop at the Franco-Italian border, it paused for some time and then we heard the sound of a gendarme walking through, asking for passports. I think Lythia was a little put back as they all carried machine guns, and were very stern, but overall, we survived the ordeal, and we were now in France.
The landscape eventually flattened out and the sun shone and by every minute we saw the countryside turn to cities. Eventually a phone call to our friend; Sophia was enough to arrange the meet up. And all we needed to do was get through the metro. I was aware that France tends not to like speaking English and I was completely inadequate at my French, so this was going to be a trial. The metro station was a vast hall of bustling people, the ticket machines were completely illiterate to a non-fluent Parian, so I headed to the nearest service counter. Luckily (as in many encounters on the trip) we engaged with a polite half fluent French man, giving us the advise we needed to get to my friends metro stop. And we made it!
Sophia turned up, we had a coffee and strolled the Parian streets back to her flat for dinner. She explained that we should visit the Louvre on Sunday, as it was free museum day, but I had a cunning plan. More of that in the next episode!
728kms Milan through to Paris
Day Three 1.9kms

For part one of Milan, look here, part two here, part three here and part four here!