Milano: Not just a delicious cookie.

Milano cookie:

milanoMilano, Italia:

postcard

Well, technically, I suppose that’s a postcard, but it illustrates my point.

So where were we? Leaving Nice, heading on to Milan via train. I think now would be an appropriate time to digress a tiny bit and talk a little bit about the Eurail Pass. 

eurail-001

The Eurail Pass is a magical little document that you buy ahead of time for a certain number of days of travel/combo of countries. And then you just flash that baby, theoretically, and it works like a train ticket. It comes with a booklet of all the timetables of all the cities and all the trains you could ride on with it. The timetables are written in code, and as we came to find out in the time leading up to EA!P1, all of the trains we would be taking require reservations ($$$).

So, we’re leaving Nice. At the train station, I validate my pass, and we do the Super Official Thing that is required: write the date in the box. This was the one train that didn’t need reservation, so we just hopped on. It was one of those double decker trains like you sometimes encounter on NJ Transit. We had a layover in Ventimiglia, which is about an hour from Nice (but in Italy). From there, the train to Milan required a reservation. Of course, the 1st train was delayed, so we missed the connection because we had to wait in line (with only one ticket agent) to make the reservation for the next train. No big.

Talking to the ticket lady was my first Italian!Victory because she didn’t speak English. High five, me. We got reservations (the cheapest ones too…only 5 euro) and wandered down to the beach and sat on a bench and people watched during our layover.

Back at the train station about 2 hours later, we found the train and got on the right carriage and discovered what can be best described as Hogwarts Express compartments. With slidy doors and luggage racks and curtains. And this annoying bushy haired girl came in asking if we had seen a nerdy kids toad. No jk. It was normal-seeming Italian teen girl (and we acquired a middle aged music fan/guitarist, a businessy man, and an adorable old man along the way).

When we got to Milan, DM’s friend C, who we stayed with, met us at the train station and kindly ushered us to his dorm, which was a bit of a hike. It was nice to be with someone who knows the way around for once. We had to ride the Metro, and then a tram to get out to his place. It was waiting for the tram that a crisis arose. The front desk guard from his building was also waiting. Unbeknownst to us prior to this, overnight guests were technically not allowed to stay, and Mr. Guard had just seen C and all of us burdened by backpacks, clear Overnight Staying Indicators. We formulated a stealth plan that evolved into us hiding behind bushes while C walked back in the building with his friends who were also getting back at the same time. Then we snuck in a secret side door that he opened from the inside, and ran into his room. Paranoia continued to plague our guilty minds–phantom boots (a la The Telltale Heart??) were heard in the hallway, so we spent about 5 mins huddled on his balconey with our belongings until danger passed. Then everything was totally fine. C’s friends donated extra blankets and pillows to make pseudo-sleeping bags, so thankfully we weren’t sleeping on the cold tile floor.

Wednesday morning, we got up bright and early for our day trip to Lake Como…

Sorry to leave you with a cliffhanger, but I’m going to have to say “To Be Continued”

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