Off to Italy - Milan

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September 18th 2016
Published: September 18th 2016
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Blue Screen of DeathBlue Screen of DeathBlue Screen of Death

You don't have to speak Danish to know this is not good.
Goodbye Denmark

Up really early to get breakfast at the hotel before heading to Copenhagen airport. We were getting to be such pros at navigating the Copenhagen train system that we were only stymied for a couple of seconds when we approached the ONLY ticket machine at this station and saw the Blue Screen of Death. Broken. Into the 7/11 and bought tickets there.

Copenhagen airport is pretty big (understatement). It doesn’t help that they tell you Ryan Air flies out of Terminal 3 (which they do) but the check-in is in Terminal 2, at the far end from the access to Terminal 3. And they tell you to be there two hours early. See pictures.


Our hostess suggested we take the airport bus into the central train station and then a city bus to her place. We got on and off the airport bus with no problem but where were the city buses? This is why we have been studying Italian. Dianne went up to a group of policemen and asked for directions. They immediately went into a huddle and discussed the question in animated Italian. One policeman took her aside and showed her where
Good thing we got here earlyGood thing we got here earlyGood thing we got here early

This is the Ryan Air gate area at Copenhagen Airport when you get there REALLY early.
to go. Exactly in the wrong direction. So back we went and, this time, Dianne asked in a Western Union office. The very helpful person went online and found the exact info we needed. And when we got to the bus stop the 92 was right there so we jumped on. Oops. It was going the wrong way. Off we got and got on one going the other way. The instructions said 11 stops so we cleverly counted 11 stops and got off. There are route maps posted at every bus stop and we could see we had gone one too far. We suspect the bus didn’t stop at one stop and that threw us off.

Our apartment

But we found our place and it was beautiful. Large rooms with at least 10’ ceilings. Our host provided us with coffee, milk, eggs, and cookies so we were set. He also left a bunch of maps and a list of places we might need like the name of a supermarket. Off we went to find it. About two blocks away was a Carrefour, a chain we had used in China. French, we believe. And they sold wine. But we
Our new home in MilanOur new home in MilanOur new home in Milan

Lovely bedroom with work area
were still reconnoitering the area so we didn’t want to carry a bunch of stuff around with us. I went to customer service and asked, very slowly “What time do you close”. The expression ”deer in the headlights” came to mind. She started to look around for help so I blurted out one of the Italian words I knew “Chiuso”. I am not sure exactly how that translates but, in these circumstances, it generated the response “Nine”. Being very slightly bilingual, I said “Nove” and she said “OK”. Ah, life is good. We went on our walk and came back in plenty of time to buy supper and wine. We are back in Italy.

Milan day 1

One of the most famous features of old Milan is its Duomo so it was where we planned to start our tour of the city. It is the most unbelievable building I have ever seen. Forget about it being a place of worship. It is just an incredible building. It's size alone is boggling. The ornateness of the interior and exterior is awesome. Dianne took lots of pictures but you really have to see it for yourself.

The other incredible
Living roomLiving roomLiving room

Very comfortable. Nice TV but only Italian channels.
thing about the Duomo are the lineups to get in. There are three ticket booths plus people buy their tickets on-line. The security lineup isn’t as bad as at an airport but still long. There are many choices from just walking around on the main floor to going into the museum to taking an elevator to get to one of the towers. Dianne correctly deduced that there had to be a section for those who just wanted to pray and that there would be a Mass in about an hour (she knew that churches would not charge people to pray or attend Mass! We took the opportunity to tour the Galleria, the incredibly expensive shopping area right beside the Duomo. We didn’t even want to buy food in the restaurants, let alone buy the high end jewelry, clothes shoes etc. But it was interesting to people watch.

Back at the Duomo, we joined a group which went in a side entrance and walked the entire length of the church to attend Mass at an altar in a chapel behind the main altar. We saw for free what the hoi polloi paid money to see. They got to take pictures

One of the buildings we walk by on our street. I like the colours.
but since pictures don’t do justice to the place, we took none inside. Well, it wasn’t quite free. Even though the Mass was in Italian, we recognized a collection when we saw it.

After Mass, we found the La Scala theatre was very close so stopped to check out what was playing. Fortunately, the season hadn’t started because the ticket prices are as steep as the seats (see pictures). But for a modest amount you could tour the theatre museum which included a visit to one of the boxes so you could see the inside of the theatre which is opulently beautiful. Last year, Mozart’s The Magic Flute was playing. We would have had trouble resisting buying tickets to that one.

We managed to find our way home though the one of the big public gardens. A great start to the Italian leg of our holiday.

What will tomorrow bring? To Be Continued

Thursday up at 5; fly to Milan;; buy bus tickets and try to find bus; get on bus going wrong way; go 11
A ChurchA ChurchA Church

You can't go far in Milan without passing a church
stops except didn’t stop at one so we went too far. Got off and walked back l turned out to be closer that then stop we supposed to take; went for a walkabout and bought groceries; prices for food are quite different from what we saw in Denmark, what time do you close

Friday walk to Duomo; check things out; galleria; cappuccino; lunch in piazza; Mass; La Scala museum; walk to other church; walk to park; walk home;

Saturday – cappuccino and brioche for 2 euros; bus to train station buy tickets for lago Como; metro to Fortress Sforsa lunch in shade; walk through park and dropped by place for Cenacolo; gelato; walked to Ambrosiana for Sunday trip; tram home for a glass of wine and went out for pizza

Sunday = tried to repeat cappuccino chuiso!; bus tickets Chuiso! Tried to buy tickets at cappuccino bar; they don’t sell them but the guy from the tabboco store was there having a cappuccino before work! The gal in the café was from China! Had a nice chat about China. We agreed we had seen more of china because she moved to Milan when she was 10. After
Milan's DuomoMilan's DuomoMilan's Duomo

But this is the Big One
ours we went back to buy some tickets and had a nice chat. Of course, he has a friend in Burnaby. Walking discovered san giovani in conca; Went to Ambrosiana; stopped at san Maurizio al monastero maggiore walked to gelato place for cappuccino; walked to Cenacolo had lunch on a bench outside the church; went to cenacolo; walked back to archiological museum;o then trammed home to do launcry

Monday Lago Como

Tuesday – lounged around home blogged etc. Took #9 to Ticenese area. Visited an unexpected Basilica of stdi san Eustorgio with its museum. Very nice church but the displays on earthquakes, wars and floods and the recovery from them was excellent. Toured what remained of the amphitheatre. Back to the church we actually came to see; the st Lorenzo basilica including the cappella di sant. Aquilino. Wandered through the canal area and surprise, surprise found another church. Decided not to sta in the Naviglio area for Appertivi took #9 back to apartment; checked address for Nottingham Forest pub which was right on the #9 run and took bus half way back. Walked home and stopped at a little bar for a drink and happy hourPower filure

Wednesday – leisure start including packing. Off to incas for cappuccino and brioche then home to pick up bags and head for station. Bit of a wait so had another cappuccino. Still a bit oi a wait so had a gelato. Who said travelling had to be tough?

Roma here we come… To Be Continued

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


More detailMore detail
More detail

There are hundreds of statues like this on the outside of the Duomo.
The GalleriaThe Galleria
The Galleria

To shopping what the Duomo is to faith.
Inside viewInside view
Inside view

Four wings with lots of restaurants and high end stores.
Dome in the middleDome in the middle
Dome in the middle

Includes 350+ tons of iron. Pretty impressive. I discovered later you can take tours of the roof! Wish I had spotted that when we were there.
Iron roofIron roof
Iron roof

All four wings of the courtyard are covered by this massive roof
Galleria cappuccinosGalleria cappuccinos
Galleria cappuccinos

Surprisingly, not the most expensive cappuccinos we have had this trip. But close. Worth it though for ambience and people watching.
La ScalaLa Scala
La Scala

Beautiful environment that does show up well in a photo. Love to see a production there.
Wishful thinkingWishful thinking
Wishful thinking

Wishing we were waiting to go in for an opera.

This relief could be viewed from several angles. I thought it appropriate to view him as thumbing his nose at the critics. Surprisingly, Dianne let me take this one!

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