Trains, Planes and Blistered Feet – Part Three

When I planned the trip I spent some time looking at the different cities we would visit and tried to find some interesting places that would be good to visit. We managed to do the ones for Rome, even though we got lost as basically we cut it down to tow or three. Milan was a completely different experience. I had a list of 20+ places of interest, and the original plan was to do it in two afternoons, with a day trip to Venice. Luckily the trip to Venice was washed out (lucky in the sense we had more time in Milan), so the second day in Milan was one of total tourism and looking around.
So, the main issue we faced, apart from the weather closing in and the cold, blar blar, was the fact that we had two large rucksacks and the thought we had to carry them around with us. In steps the internet! I did a little research before and remembered that when we were going to spend our second day in London I had a plan to leave the bags in a place near the station so we could just pick them up. So, I remembered the place was bagBnB, taking after airBnB. A little check and we found a place in the centre of town that was well rated and convenient. We booked it up and headed there. We discovered it was a really popular bistro/cafe which was quite nice to eat in. So we stayed for a quick breakfast treat before heading out.
So, after the bags were tucked in for the day, the plan was to hit the tourism list and find ‘La Scala’. Once again we blindly trusted our method or understanding Google Maps and headed off. As you cross the city centre you come across a great deal of tram lines. Only dangerous if you are not looking, and on the other hand a great spectacle to see, as many are still the old vintage trams. We thought that La Scala was straight on, so we went straight on. After some 20 minutes we felt we were not getting to where we should. Luckily Milan has a lot of road side maps to show location. We stopped and look, and yes, low and behold we had gone the wrong way and gotten lost.
Luckily, however, the process of getting lost led us the the awesome and centrally placed Milan Castle. Greeted by its fountain and street peddler we quickly made our way inside, and both Lythia and I agreed, the architecture of the building was very eclectic. However, we enjoyed a quick look round and decided to head straight through. This pleased Lythia as we ended up in the most enormous parks/gardens. Some real quiet in the city, and a chance to see dogs running (reminding us of Honey). So we took a nice quite stroll through the park and headed toward a large monolith in the distance.

At this point we started to realise how far we had already walked, and that we had not yet discovered ‘La Skala’, but we believed we were at the farthest point of our tour this day, so we sat and enjoyed the wonder of the great gateway, planning our next path. It did seem obvious to us that we should follow the park round again and meet back up at the opening of the castle entrance. So off we headed, not without a surprise however. A 90 year old jogging grandma in full leotard came bounding past us and off into the distance! It was quite a site, and maybe haunt me for the rest of my life!

We made it back to were we started, after being shoved up by a band of 50+ Japanese tourists. We knew we could trace back to the centre as ‘La Scala’ wasn’t that way, so a little help from Google Maps again and we bore a left and walked through a really nice architectural distract, and eventually coming into an area called Brera! This is the trendy area, that has loads of small streets and cafes, and colourful buildings. We walked in taking in the beauty, not really knowing where we were going, and realising Lythia was getting a little tired. We knew we had a 3pm meet up with her Milan friend, so started to head back to the centre.
As like many of our moments on this trip so far, a large amount of luck played a part and as like the Trevi Fountain, a chance turn had us end up right outside the great building. This is when the realisation struck us. To reach ‘La Scala’ all you needed to do was walk through the Galleria at Duomo, and bam there you were. Instead we circumnavigated the city to end up at the same place.
Lythia and I took a moment to realise the trek we had come on, but sighed knowing that we had caught a load of sites we would not have seen if we had made it directly to the opera house. To Lythia’s joy as well, there was a statue of her idol, who was a local chap called Leonardo Da Vinci. We stopped and took another breath and for a moment let Lythia’s feet scream for help. I think the photo says it all!
We were on the final push. We arranged to meet Lythia’s friend at the BagBnB place as we had to pick the rucksacks up, and thought it would be a good place to have lunch. So we slowly strolled back and took a few more of the sights in. Realising when we reached the Duomo that we were going to be 1 hour early, we sat on a marble bench out side the Leonardo museum. At which moment it began to rain! Slowly everyone dispersed from the area, to avoid getting wet, apart from two English tourists and a bunch of pigeons! Luckily the wait wasn’t long, but we had a good chat on the bench and made it for lunch on time.
After lunch we returned to the Leonardo Museum and had a good look around the exhibition. I was a little disappointed as they had like 5 images from Picasso, Kandinsky, etc and the rest were from a local artist. Anyway, the day had become long and Lythia was getting a little emotional, as she had to say goodbye to her friend for the last time. There was plenty of Europe still to see, but Milan was fast becoming a past event. Tomorrow we planned on the Leonardo Science Museum and then ready for Paris!!

10.49kms Milan Day Two

For part one of Milan, look here!