Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 6 - Milan

Past few days we have enjoyed the lush greenery, Swiss alps, beautiful country side and the chirping of the birds. Today we wanted to experience something new and so we decided to do a day trip to Milan, Italy. Milan is only 3 hours away from Interlaken. You change trains at Speiz and then it's direct all the way to Milan. So we took the early morning 7:30 am train to Italy.

Milan's station reminded me of London's king cross station. Big and hustling with people. The station is called Milano Centrale and is the second largest station after that of Rome's. The building is huge and magnificent.

Since we had only 8 hours in Milan we decided to take the hop on hop off sightseeing city tour. Since Milan is a big city and there is much to cover there are two lines A and B. For a mere €20 per person you can travel on both the lines for the next 48 hours. A pretty good deal!!

As we stepped out of the station onto the streets it reminded us of Bombay and somewhat of Delhi. Big cities, lots of people, disorganized traffic, cars honking and chaotic. Unfortunately not very many Italians in Milan speak English, and we don't understand Italian, so after an hour of looking and asking several people we finally discovered the bus stop for the hop on hop off bus. It was right across from the railway station but of course we missed it or did not recognize it :)

Once in the tour bus, everything else went smooth. We first visited the must see Duomo. The cathedral is the most beautiful I have ever seen. Its structure completely blows you off. It's beautiful, exquisite, magnificent and a piece of art. Standing at one end of the square its a must visit when in Milan. After catching a glimpse of the Duomo we decided to first catch some grub and then come back and do full justice to the cathedral.

So off we went looking for this really tiny but famous panini place called Luini Panzerotti. It was a small bakery type of a place with no tables to sit but lines of people waiting to order. I ordered the spinach and ricotta cheese and Sid ordered one with a cheese and onion filling. Cost us €5 total. How cheap is that?? After spending 5 days in Switzerland and paying through the roof for not so exciting food, trust me this was awesome. Not only was it delicious it was super cheap too. They have both sweet and savory panzerottis. No wonder tourists prefer Italy over Switzerland ;) we next decided to have a small cone of gelato each. For a mere €5 we each got two small cones of heaven. It was perfect- creamy, rich and tasty!!

After our tummys were full we walked back to the Duomo and did out picture sessions. Some of the cathedral alone, some of each other with the magnificent and a few of both of us together. We then decided to take a peek inside and it was breath taking. I cannot explain it in words here is a weak attempt to capture what I saw ( not what I felt ;))

After spending a good hour at the Duomo we hopped back onto the bus and decided to first just sit through the entire route and listen to the commentary. Here is the route we drove through. Since there was not enough time to see the other line, we decided to get off at the shopping district in Buenos Aires. Now when I say shopping district I really mean it. You name the designer and this street will have the store. It was a pleasure to walk through the beautiful buildings and see what the fashion district of Italy offers.

Just walking past people I noticed ladies were well dressed and fashion conscious. You could tell that brands hold great value here. The rich all flashed their designer clothes and bags and those who could not afford it decided to flash their fake bags. Louis Vuitton bags, fake or original were owned by one and all.Though I must admit that people were less pretentious and friendly, they tried to help wherever possible.

All in all this was a super short trip. We loved Milan and plan to return to it sometime soon. Good food, fun places to visit and a warm environment. Hopefully by my next trip I'll learn a few Italian words too ;)

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