Another early morning commute to the airport. This time I didn’t even bother trying to go to sleep. The bus was at 3am. The taxi booked for half two. It was easier to stay up. I watched a few episodes of “How TV ruined your life” on youtube to pass the time. I’ll have over two hours to sleep on the bus and three hours of flight… I’d be grand!
When we got to the Europa and got to the bus we presented the driver with a return fare, but he just waved us on. The reason given was the heating on the bus was broken. Fair enough, but how bad could it have been for Bus Erinnan to give us a free journey?
Oh… that bad! The two, or so, hours on the bus were very, very cold! This thwarted my plan of sleeping on the bus. Plus my big headphones aren’t ideal for sleeping. Despite taking up pretty much the whole back row of the bus I only slept about 20-30minutes.
So, it’s half five in the new terminal of DublinAirport. I’m very cold and very sleepy. So a nice cup of tea is all I need to sort me out. A cup of tea with some sausage, bacon and eggs!
We got on the plane, its starts to taxi to the runway, the safety demonstration happened, the plane takes off and I wake up twenty minutes from Milan. Well, not entirely true, despite being awake as the plane took off, I woke up for a few seconds whilst the plane was cruising and wondered why we hadn’t taken off yet. I’m very stupid when I’m tired.
Milan-d so i watch you from afar
After getting the bus to Centralle we decided to go to a coffee shop in order to get our bearings and figure out where the hostel was. This led to more confusion than envisaged. First, I remembered my lack of Italian was embarrassing (I’d been to Venice before and got by on “Chao, Gracie, Si”. Though the situation wasn’t helped by their (what I felt was) bizarre ordering system.
Leona successfully managed to order a sandwich and coke, get a ticket, go to the bar and receive her purchase in exchange for the ticket, she went outside to the tables to consume. I took note and tried to do the same, went to the ordering place and the lady pulled the trick of pretending to speak English then stating she hadn’t a clue. At this stage I was close to breaking down and cry “I just want a coffee!” but we were both saved by a waiter or something who took my order and got a waitress to bring me to a table. This deviation from the previous ordering system I had witnessed left me confused, but I went outside to find Leona and sit with her. When I went outside, she wasn’t there and with the waitress hurrying me to sit somewhere I took a seat and assumed Leona would show up.
My Café Macciadato (Espresso with a bit of foam) arrived with my Chocolate Tart thing and Leona texted me to say she was around the corner, apparently she wasn’t allowed to sit and eat food outside the place where she bought the food (!). So we ate our respective food apart. I was happy enough, I got to watch Milan go by, in the sun. Leona, not so much.. She sat in the train station (though in fairness… it is a really nice train station!)
We managed to figure out the general direction of where we should head (south east) and found the street our hostel was on and the Mc Donalds it was beside, but finding the hostel wasn’t as easy. Walked up and down the street a few times and then noticed it on a tiny sign (about 1cm thick) beside a door bell.
Anyway, after climbing the three flights of stairs we met the lovely Sierra, Leonardo and Michaela. Despite their lack of English and our lack of Italian, we managed to get to grips with everything via Leona and Leonarado’s bit of of French (and occasionally, for some unknown reason, I slipped into a bit of Spanish). Basically, the important stuff: Free bottled water( “sin gas? Con gas?”), free coffee from the machine, free wi fi, free breakfast and you don’t have to bother with the dishes!
The room was nice and big too, with a balcony, and we could also watch all the excellent Italian Satellite programming we wanted. We resisted that particular temptation and tried to stay awake by going for a walk. We went down Corso Buenos Aires for a bit and decided to jump into the metro at Lima to do some touristy things. Mainly go have a look at the Duomo.
When we got to the Duomo we were immediately pounced upon by people pedalling tat to tourists (literally at the top of the steps exiting the Metro). One guy selling actual string offered us some for free. We declined but somehow they ended up in our wrists while he chatted to us about liking Celtic and coming from Senegal (it’s like the opposite of pick pocketing!). Then the cheeky fucker asked for a donation to Africa (“just a euro!”). All I had was a €2 coin so I gave him that just to get rid of him, saying that’s for both of us. Then was brazen enough ask Leona for a “donation”. He tried to play dumb but I was insistent she already had via me. I was initially raging by being stung like that, but in time learnt to appreciate the pretty crafty scam going on. Also the colourful bit of string on my wrist was a good way of getting rid of the numerous others selling bits of fucking string (“already have one… boom!”).
|Shite multicoloured string.
|After having a look at (not in) the Duomo we walked around the square and down some fancy shopping malltype place. All the fancy shops: Prada, Gucci, McDonalds… etc and walked through to a square with a statue with DiVinci in it and had a sit.
San Siro Hour
At that point Leona suggested we go to the San Siro. Sadly it didn’t seem to be near anything and we couldn’t find it on our map. We found out it was “near” the Lotto metro stop. Once we got off the metro we expected to find a giant stadium looking at us. Nope. Walked around the corner and saw a sign so we followed it. Then saw another sign and followed it. This process repeated itself a few time. Afterwards I checked on google maps how far it was. It was apparently 2km, but I reckon we walked at least double that. Even when we got near the stadium we ended up walking the long way around it as opposed to taking a more direct route. By this time we still didn’t even know if there was a tour. Thankfully there was!
Yeah, so the tour was… short. Well compared to the Old Trafford one, which took you everywhere! San Siro took you too one of the stands, into the two changing rooms and the bit below the stand. The guide wouldn’t take questions either, and I had a load of tedious ones! We walked about the museum for a bit too. It was the usual fare but in two parts, plus a few things from other teams.
We then tried to walk back to the metro. We had a fare idea where we were going and even found a map to consult. The consensus being: walk in one direction in a straight line and turn left. Wasn’t that simple and we again took some unexpected detours. By this point it was after 6 and it was starting to rain, the rain got heavier and I was just wearing a T-shirt. I didn’t really mind, the rain was sort of warm and it was refreshing from the heat we had earlier.
We finally got to Lotto and decided to eat dinner in the McDonalds across the road and have a rest before we headed back to Loretto. One think I found amusing that something, I would think as, classy i.e. a Tiramisu was advertised in a McDonalds! Sadly I didn’t get to have one despite several attempts (sad face!).
Coffee (mil)and TV
After our trek back to the hostel we retired to our quarters with some hot chocolate. It was about half eight and because of our very early start, Leona went straight to sleep. I tried to stay awake a while longer, to prevent me waking at crazy o’clock, by reading tweets and news on my phone. I read about Zanardi’s Paralympic gold and then switched on the TV to see if I could find anything on it. I just continually flicked through Italian TV, find one show where attractive ladies and older gent just dance about. Then I found some hilights of the 1981 Spanish GP on a random sports channel! Yay!
By 10 I had enough and fell asleep. The next day I was off to Monza! Double Yay!