The overnight flight was relatively painless. Two meals, or what passes for that on airlines. Two movies, almost. I was in the final minutes of The Avengers – Rise of Ultron when we landed. I’ll never know if they won…
Customs was a breeze, no declarations. Two trains and a little wandering to find the hotel, whew. Checked in by noon. What to do? Milan is hosting a huge Expo and the airline gave me two free tickets worth 39€ each. However, The hotel clerk said it was crazy crowded and you could wait 5 hours to get into some pavilions, yikes.
I went with plan B, a walking tour of the city. Duomo Cathedral was a fifteen minute walk away. That gave me a chance to experience the cityscape up close. A city with a rich and long history. An observation… Italians like their cigarettes. It is strange being around smokers on the streets, in stores, at sidewalk cafes, even though the packaging of their cigarette cartoons is a little frank.
They also like their scooters. Don’t step off a curb here without looking both ways.
The cathedral is one of the world’s best and largest examples of Gothic architecture. I did the museum tour and the walking (climbing) tour of the cathedral terrace. This gets you up close with the spires and rooftop with spectacular views of the city.
I had my first Italian gelato. Yum.
Another mile or so of exploring around town and back to my room to catch some zzzz’s. The others arrive late and I’ll probably catch them at breakfast. Then, I get to try my hand at riding a motorcycle in the Milan traffic. Nothing could be as scary as Manila. Wish me luck.