Milan and More Rain!!
Well, we got to Milan Tuesday afternoon and it was of course raining. Luckily it was just kind of drizzling the first night so we were able to walk around and get a slight feel for where we were before the morning when we needed to meet our tour for The Last Supper and Duomo. I have decided that Milan is the Seattle of Italy (as far as the rain goes).
The next morning we did a 3 hour walking tour of Milan and saw the Duomo and a few other sites and then ended with seeing the famous painting by DaVinci. It was pretty cool to see. We had a great tour guide who was incredibly knowledgeable so it was very interesting. Sadly, at some point someone put a door in the wall where the painting was done!!! Crazy, huh?
Milan does not have all the cool, old things that Rome has or the amazing art that Florence has but it is still a cool place. It is more what we are used to in the US, like a big city. It has a little of everything, more of a mix of cultures, and big business. We thought we would see everyone walking around in high fashion but that is not the case. So far it is mostly people just like us. Even though we can hear some English here and people will really try to speak to you in English we have definitely had to use our Italian more here. It is not so touristy so we have had to listen harder and ask for things to be repeated or spoken more slowly. Luckily I am doing fairly well with my Italian.
We got ridiculously soaked again yesterday. I am pretty sure I am just going to have to throw away the shoes I was wearing. We got lucky today and it didn't really rain much until right now today and it is pouring and thundering and lightning. We got back to the hotel just in time. We skipped our after dinner walk that we usually do because we have to be up early to get to the train station to go to Florence for the day.
Today we just walked all over the place. We walked all the way to the train station only to find out that same day tickets are twice as much and since we have already spent enough money we decided to get tickets to Florence for tomorrow and save some moolah.
We went to the high end designer shopping area also. It was beautiful to see but of course we could not afford anything there. There are some other regular stores around there including Victoria Secret and The Gap!! We did not buy anything there but I did buy a couple of things at a store I really like for leggings and socks, Calzedonia. We got out of there because it is so touristy and walked to where locals live so we could eat. We have noticed that not only is the food better but also cheaper if you get out of the tourist spots.
Here are a few pics from the shopping area. It is an old building that has been restored. The bull on the floor has a story that goes with it but I don't remember it. I do remember you are supposed to put your right heel on the privates of the bull (taurus) and spin counter clockwise 3 times for good luck. Chris did it. We didn't want to take chances!!
One big problem (for me) is that there are not really any public restrooms. You have to go into a bar (what we would call a cafe or coffee house) and order something to use the toilet. If you find a public toilet it costs one Euro, if you order a caffe (what we call an espresso) it is 0.80 Euros and you can use their bathroom. It is a better deal to just drink espresso all day. We get cappucinos in the morning but they don't drink them after about 11:00 in the morning. After that is is pretty much espresso or some other coffee drink without all the milk. So, walk, drink espresso, pee. This is what we spend the day doing!!! So far Milan is our favorite place for coffee. They give you twice as much as Rome and it is stronger and hotter!! Just like I like it!!
This evening we had Thai massages and it was one of the stranger massages we have ever had. We both just had on these paper thongs (which that was absolutely hilarious to see Chris in) and we were in the same room together. These two Thai woman actually stood on us!! They used their feet, forearms, everything on us.
At one point my therapist told me to sit up and she couldn't get me to put my legs like she wanted and she spoke very limited English so she finally said, "Sit like Buddha." Of course I knew exactly what she meant!! I didn't have a shirt on so I was trying to hold my towel over my chest and she just grabbed my arms and started stretching me and having me lean on her!! Thank goodness I am not very modest or I probably would have completely tensed up and ruined my massage!!
Another time during the massage she took both my legs and pushed them all the way up into my chest and I thought about how many of my patients fart when they do this movement and was thankful I did not have gas!!!
Anyway, I felt really good after the massage/stretch session but I was definitely not expecting to be pretty much naked with no cover on me!!! She told me twice that I had strong muscles! I don't know if that was a compliment or just a way of saying I was very tight and tense.
They were very sweet and when we were leaving the receptionist asked where we were from and said that she loved America and wanted to go there so bad and that she especially loved American cinema. It was kind of funny.
Well, I guess that is it for tonight. I will put a few more pictures below from Milan.
Buona Notte! I guess I should say Buongiorno since it is still early in the day there.