This time around my daughter chose Milan for our father daughter escapade. The normal routine in which we go via JFK and have our ShakeShack burger was repeated. Flight is called, we get cleared and away we go. Alessia settles in, looks over the choice of movies to watch, plans her next 8 hours and settles in. My daughter loves the warm nuts that are given at the beginning and eats them slowly to savour it for a long time. Sitting back and staring at her and her actions makes me so happy. Every parent always wants to give the very best to their child and seeing her content makes it so rewarding.
After several movies, several meals and a healthy breakfast, the captain indicates the initial decent has started. Water bottles start changing shape with the cabin pressure and swallowing ensures no ear issues. “Let me be the first to welcome you to Milan Italy where the local time is 9:24 am”, the flight attendant says. I look over to Alessia, motion her to put her knapsack on, and the countdown begins.
Locate the train station, purchase our tickets and head to Milan City Center. This time around instead of planes, trains and automobile; it is planes, trains and walking. We arrive at our hotel that leaves us in shock. I’ve heard of small rooms in Europe for space is a major commodity, but this was small. So small that while you take a shower, you can actually use the bathroom sink and trip over the toilet bowl. In any case, it didn’t really matter at all since we only used it to sleep. As it turns out, we used it for only one night.
While walking around, we come across this park with many students , locals and tourists. Some are playing soccer while others are reading books. We sit on the grass to relax for a moment and strangely enough both Alessia and I actually take a quick 30 minute power nap. It actually felt great and energized us to continue our walk.
One cannot visit Milan without seeing the Duomo di Milano Cathedral. Amazing structure with gorgeous roof lines. We sat by the steps and just looked around noticing all sorts of things you usually don’t when running around on a normal work day. From people reading novels, to musicians playing soft tunes. From parents cleaning their child’s mouth from ice cream leaks to teenagers on skateboards. Everyone added to the character of the Piazza.
Just adjacent to the Cathedral one finds the major Fashion district where you see wall to wall brand names and people truly playing the part. Those Italians sure know how to dress with their Gucci dresses and Armani suits. Even at 75 they still keep style and fashion on the forefront. Is it a show, or is it simply their upbringing? Nevertheless amazing to watch and fully “avant-garde”.
We continue the journey by visiting the Castello Sforzesco in Piazza Castello. A huge 15th century castle with impressive architecture. A water trench along the entire perimeter, which was the typical self defence mechanism for intruders, was filled with greenery to add to the beauty of the castle. After walking around, and our feet screaming for a rub down, we decided to head back to our hotel.
Earlier I mentioned the hotel stay ended up being for one night. Well, has it turned out, we had scheduled to take the train the very next morning to visit Lake Como, but upon looking at flight loads, our plans suddenly changed. For us to make it out of the country, we had to leave the very next morning.
A great trip always depends on great planning, but a truly successful trip is always based on how quickly you can adapt to change. We never know what we are confronted with and having expectations usually causes the traveller to be disappointed. Travel openminded, and let every moment be part of the experience.
As it turns out, someone above made this happen, for upon my arrival in Montreal, I rushed to the clinic for unbearable pain from a kidney stone.
Stone was passed, Milan was seen in one day, and off to the world map in search for the next destination.