Thursday, February 26, 2009

Milan

I was in Milan last week, and I had a pretty ok time. My mom isn't happy with me because I went by myself, but I neglected to tell her I went by myself until I got back. And yes, I did that on purpose.

Anyway, I stayed in a nice little hotel, and got some writing done (non-blog related, obviously, I don't post that often), and saw some sights, and went shopping. It was fun, but a little lonely. The days are getting longer here, so I would stay about til it got dark, and then head back to my little room to do some writing. I took the train both ways, and it's about as long a journey as driving from my parent's house to my grandparents house - 4 1/2 hours. I realized it on the way home, and I was a little sad that I was on my way home from a solo adventure, and not on my way home from a family gathering in Carlyle. Don't get me wrong, I love adventures and living here, and I'm glad I made it to Milan, but I miss my family quite a bit. Can you blame me? It's been over six months since I've seen them all.

Here are some pictures - I didn't really take too many, because Milan is really pretty industrial, and after a while most quaint European streets start blending together. Beautiful, but you think, "haven't I seen this somewhere before? Oh yeah, every city I've visited thus far." But, I was impressed with the sheer size of the Duomo in Milan. I've seen St. Mark's in Venice, the Duomo in Florence, and the Vatican in Rome, but for some reason this massive church just blew me away. I think it's because it's free-standing and you can walk all the way around it... I'm not too sure. But it's beautiful and huge. On the other hand, I was sorely disappointed in La Scala. I've studied music all my life, and for a while was thinking about pursuing a career in art music or opera, so seeing La Scala was a huge deal. It's a pretty building, but really nothing special. I would have liked to see an opera (Wagner's Tristan & Isolde, love it), but it was something like 250 Euros - not on an au pair's salary! I actually didn't even get to see inside, because everytime I went by, the museum (including a tour of the theater) was closed.

Anyway, I enjoyed my time, and I would like to go back, but I think if I head back to Italy, I'll make my way back to Rome.
The Duomo. I tried to include a ton of tourists so there is a reference point for how big it really is.
The side of the Duomo
A statue in front of the Duomo; I love lions!
A lot more bike commuters than in Switzerland.
And everyone rides bikes like this.

La Scala.

I was trying to explain to Dan how much "messier" Italy is than Switzerland. I think that's the best word I can use - messy. People are louder, more expressive, wear more colorful clothes, the streets are dirtier, public transportation isn't quite as efficient, people drive like maniacs, etc. In Switzerland, everything is just so, and I am getting quite used to that. I forgot to write down directions to my hotel, so when I arrived at the station, I went looking for the tourist information. In Switzerland, there usually in tourist info in/around train stations in every city. I was also counting on exchanging my money at the train station. Well, someone forgot not everything was Swiss in its execution. I ended up taking a taxi to my hotel. I also paid an arm and a leg to exchange my money. Just part of the experience, right?

Hopefully, my next excursion will be to Paris, and it won't be alone. Happy Thursday everyone!

2 comments:

Julie said...

Oh yeah, wait till your grandparents read this.

Swiss Miss said...

Congrats on making a solo trip. I too was a bit disappointed by La Scala. I studied opera in college, so it was so built up in my mind. But seeing the theater, at least from the outside, was a let down. I didn't want to pay 250 Euro for an opera either so I saw a children's choir perform there for 15 Euro instead. The inside of the theater is an improvement on the outside at least.