After a stressful week of getting as much work done possible, tacking solo travel anxiety, 24 hours of flying with a stop over in Dubai… I’ve finally made it to Milan!
Turned out the travel here wasn’t all that bad – the worse was of course saying bye to my sisters and Alfred, but from then on was pretty smooth sailing. Survived a 14.5 hour flight with 2 movies, 2 meals and tried to sleep my way through the rest of it. Didn’t think much of what was happening when I arrived, possibly because my head is still in the clouds. I had my first “OMG I’m in Milan” moment earlier today when I stepped out onto the streets of Milan and saw rustic, Italian style buildings as well as iconic Milan sights with my very own eyes.
Dropped off my bags at the hotel near the airport and took the express train out to central station, from there I transited to Duomo station which is where the third largest cathedral in the world sits – Duomo di Milano (Cathedral of Milan). This building is MASSIVE, if you study it in detail you’ll notice all the different statues apparently theres about 2000 statues inside and outside of the cathedral! My initial plans were to walk up the stairs/take the lift and go up to the top to see Milan from afar. I did neither as the first thing I wanted to do was just roam around neighbouring streets and get some food! After getting my dose of Pasta + Gelato for lunch, exhaustion has kicked in again and it got really hot by this time. Instead of trying to burn time for another 3 or so hours, I decided to head back to the hotel early to rest up seeing that I have a wedding to shoot the next day.
Overall, I didn’t have much problem getting around (thank God to predownloading Google maps!) and hoping its just as easy to navigate in the other parts of Italy I’m heading to soon!
Here are some observations/ things I’ve learnt so far from long haul travel/Italy:
- Having preferred “window seat” for most of my life, I come to realise that aisle seats aren’t all that bad, particularly for long hauls. You feel less squished on one side and you can go to the toilet as many times as you wish.
- Ear plugs are awesome, so are sleeping masks – I usually listen to music to sleep this time I figured I’ll try something different. Ear plugs worked a treat and blocked out a majority of the noise… not when the babies were crying in harmony though… but it softened it a fair bit.
- Avoid Gypsies where possible (they seem to like hanging around crowded places or outside a popular eatery where people are queuing!) – I wasn’t sure what they look like but eventually I learnt that they are easily distinguished by the way they dress and with a bible?? or book of sorts in hand.
- Avoid people selling souvenirs from their hand – I was standing around just checking my phone and suddenly a guy slapped a beaded bracelet on my hand trying to get me to buy it. I shook it off my hand and walked off. I read from other travellers that if you continue to ‘try’ on the product they will make you buy it.. so have to refuse from the very start!
- No wonder they call Milan the fashion capital – not all people dress trendy but there are a fair number of people who stand out in the crowd! Thankfully I’m here for work and had to travel light.. because I could probably go broke here!
- You’re reminded that the world is a scary place when you see army dudes with machine guns standing outside train stations and main attractions..
Here’s the photo spam!
I imagine those are the Swiss Alps up ahead?
Milan Malpensa Airport
Relieved that buying a train ticket was so easy!
Stepped out of Cadorna station to take a peek, this is when it hit me that I’m in Italy!
If you look closely.. these are just the few of the 3000+ statues decorating the Duomo
Wonder what’s happening here?
Taking photos with the pigeons of Milan seem to be a thing, they scare me though because of the way they fly past you… I feel as they want to attack!
Noticed that the tables at restaurants in the Galleria are set up to ‘People watch’
Massive crowds gathered in the centre to hear this group of people sing in harmony
Because apparently spinning on a bull’s testicles will give you good luck
Tandem Bistrot: A local gem recommended on Trip advisor, first meal in Italy had to be pasta. Just a simple Spaghetti Al Pomodoro e Basilico
Piazza della Scalla – a pretty place to people watch under the shade of these trees, oh with the presence of Leonardo Da Vinci
The “Opera House” of Milan
Crazy queues outside this place… must be good! Might check this out when I get back to Milan
Cioccolat Italiani was one of the recommended places for gelato in Milan. They had a fair few flavours to choose from but I wasn’t sure so I went with one of their gourmet cones as advertised.
Dark Chocolate, Strawberry gelato with a scoop of fresh meringue on top. It was a little tricky to eat with all the layers.. which explains why I see people eating a cone ice cream with a spoon! The fresh meringue was definitely an interesting extra. Not a bad first gelato in Italy, wasn’t really wow-ed.. but I loved how intense the dark chocolate gelato is!
Cioccolat Italiani is located super close to the Duomo
This photo is for the boyfriend!
If you see pebbled grounds.. avoid! They actually hurt to walk on! hah.
also avoid talking to women dressed like these… :s