Arriving in Milan
|The central rail station in Milan|
I arrived in Milan, Italy today at 10:30 am and made the long ride from the airport to the central rail station on a crowded bus. From there I took a cab 10 minutes to my small hotel room which I found online weeks ago - a good price and it turns out to be a nice space, small and clean, perfect for me.
My flight from Boston on Lufthansa was cancelled due to a strike in the airlines so I was switched to British Airlines (I had the worst meal ever on a plane as I crossed the Atlantic) and landed in London. From there I flew to Milan and by the time I arrived, not having slept a wink on the plane, I was ready for bed.
I slept several hours before waking up hungry about 5:00 pm. I learned that local restaurants don't really open until 6:30 pm so I walked around the area just seeing what I could see. I went into grocery stores, corners shops, and was looking for possible eating places. Mostly I was watching the people - even though I don't understand any Italian to speak of I am familiar with some words and most importantly the way people express them from exposure to my Italian grandparents. (My mom's generation was taught to forget their native language and fit into America's 'melting pot' which meant that my generation had limited exposure to Italian.) I thought alot about my grandfather who originally came from Milan before he immigrated to the US. He had served in the Italian Navy during WW I and came to the US soon after because two of my uncles served in the US Navy during WW II and both were on ships that got sunk. Luckily they got pulled out of the drink.
I found a nice mom and pop restaurant not far from my hotel and while I could only read about half of the menu I had a good pasta dish with some wine and a salad. At first the folks at the restaurant spoke to me in Italian but they figured out I was not 'in the lingo' soon enough. They were very nice to me and I enjoyed the meal.
Luckily the Wifi works at the hotel and while in the Boston airport I bought an international electrical adapter which makes life a bit easier.
I want to take the train north to Lake Como - might do it in the morning. Flying into Milan from across France and over Geneva was a beautiful view of the Alps - the plane was very low and it seemed you could reach out and touch the snow-capped mountains.