Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What a busy, crazy two days!!

Dennis at the park inside the city of Milan... (remember, you can click on a photo to enlarge!)

Outside the gates of the Duomo (church)...they are made of
copper and are 3-D!

Insided the duomo. It was huge!

On the piazza out front of the duomo. Watch
' out for the beggars!!!

The church where you'll find the Last Supper!

Me on the train to Milan! Yay, first class
and no delays!

Dennis and I are now on a train waiting to go back to Verona after a day in Milan! Today's train adventures have been far superior to yesterday's disaster. Our train from Como to Milan was totally cancelled and all the people on that train ran to the window to try to book another one. Of course, that made for a long line and grumpy people! We waited with a couple from NY and another couple from California. When we finally got to the front of the line, some Italian chick was trying to cut in front of us saying " but my train leaves! Please let me in front!" We said that was the same train we wanted on, sorry chickster. Then she said "But I am pregnant"! Personally, I didn't care if she was about to give birth. I had a schedule to keep and she was just trying to snake us. So we get up to the window, and the totally humorless ticket worker put us on a train to Milan that went to a DIFFERENT station! We actually had to get a SUBWAY train to the correct one in the middle of all these train connections. (I bet he's still laughing his &^%# off at screwing over those nasty Americanos!) The couple from Fresno,CA was hanging with us because they had to go to Verona too. I think we helped them alot because they just had this bewildered look on their faces as we were grabbing people asking for directions. Then they would chase after us. We were trying to hurry because we were going to miss our last train due to the subway ride plus the run to and from it! DUH! They were really nice though and it was good to not be lost alone! We finally got our final train into Verona from Milan and it was the regional train. In other words, they stop at every station in between and probably would have stopped to pet a kitty on the side of the tracks as well! haha It took soooo long and we had all of Italians finest on it too because it's a cheap train! Boy, we sure appreciate 1st class rides a lot more now! We thought we would die........I swore I wouldn't never get into a mode of transportation with graffiti on it again. There is graffiti in EVERYTHING. There's graffiti on graffiti. And nobody seems to care! If we stood still long enough, we'd probably eave Italy with spray paint on our foreheads......especially on the train stations and trains.
Today started at 4:30am as we got the 6:45 train to Milan. What a huge, huge city! We got a cab to go see da Vinci's "Last Supper" and it was soooo awesome!!! My mouth was just hanging open the whole time. They only let groups of 20 in at a time with lots of sliding doors, cameras, and security. We actually went in with a group of Japanese tourists. No, we didn't stand out at all! haha The painting takes up this huge wall at the end of what was once a "dining room" for the monks of the church back in 1550 something! Dennis was surprised to see that it was painted directly on the wall. It's in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church which is small and unimposing. You would never guess it holds such a masterpiece! After that, we made our way to the Duomo which is incredibly ornate and HUGE! We got to go inside although some girls were turned away for showing their legs and arms. I knew in advance and therefore, left the bikini at home...hahaha We also stopped in another large church and the city castle. My only complaint with Milan is it has so many people begging. If I gave every beggar money, then I would be the one doing the begging! The beggars look like Mexicans and then you have the ones trying to sell you seriously cheap crap (and even strings to tie on your wrist! As if!!) and they are really big black men! I would say "beggar alert!" and we would start walking fast and go the other direction. One dude in front of the duomo actually grabbed my arm as I walked away trying to give me cracked corn to feed the uber-million pigeons there! I yelled no and Dennis turned around and yelled at him too! Just awful. You really had to be on your guard the whole day! We really mastered the art of ignoring people and taking evasive action.
We did spend some time in the city parks which were lovely and a great break from all the craziness. Funny thing though, we stopped along a bridge over a pretty stream and I saw something swimming in the water, little head up, heading for the opposite bank. "Look, Dennis," I said. "Isn't that cute?? Is it a little muskrat or some kind of beaver?" It turned out to be a big ol' rat. Niiiiice.......We stopped and got some pizza for dinner and I ordered the Sicilian style. We got it and we have no clue what was on it. It had cheese and something really salty. I said it was mashed olives but Dennis swore it was tuna! Like the existence of UFO"S, I guess we'll never really know..........
Some observations on Italians thus far: They all think they look the coolest and are really fashionable. However, this look is often achieved by throwing on some crazy ol' high heels, messy hair, and lots of mismatched layers.......maybe I'm just missing something here?.....
They are as obsessed with cell phones as we Americans. Only they are still in the "Tiny is good stage" whereas our's have to have a tv, stereo, keyboard, and computer in addition to just calling someone......
They all still listen to 70's and 80's music. Even on the radio. It's just wrong to be in a lovely little Italian town listening to "Ring My Bell" and "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John.
Many Italian workers don't have a very friendly attitude. I guess that would disrupt their cool factor. We have met some really friendly people though, too, who are patient with our language shortcomings. Most of the younger Italians are nicer.
They love, love, love shoes. They are everywhere. And expensive. Oddly enough though, the fad with teens is the old canvas Converse Chuck Taylor shoe! They were everywhere and cost about a hundred dollars US in the stores....CRAZY!
We stopped by McD's for lunch for some food from home and had to PAY 20 cents for a thing of ketchup! We paid for ketchup! And the McD's were running over!
Well, I am going to wrap this up for now and look at the passing scenery awhile. We walked A LOT today - probably at least 6 miles so I need to just sit and veg out awhile. Ciao!

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