European Excursion

Dear readers, it’s that time of year again where I embark on a new adventure and take on a new city, country, or continent. This summer? Northern Italy and Switzerland. I’ve been up for 31 hours straight, so if my writing tonight is incoherent, I apologize.

***

Welcome to Milan, Italy: the fashion capital of the world! Where graffiti is abundant, and every day for a pedestrian becomes a struggle for survival. Speaking as both a taxi cab patron, and pedestrian, I can attest to this. 😉

Our flight landed in Milan-Linate around 10 am, and after being on-the-go for collectively 12 hours (including our stopover time spent in Amsterdam), it felt nice to stretch our legs. We took a taxi to what we thought was the home of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” However, due to a communication error with our cab driver, we wound up at Piazza del Duomo, home to THIS work of art instead:

Milan Cathedral Milan Cathedral

We spent a few hours perusing the square, and re-caffeinating before we began our trek on foot to the Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie: the real home of Da Vinci’s original fresco. It was amazing to see this work of art in person. We were only allowed to see the painting for 15 minutes, but that was just enough time to take in it’s vast size and historical significance. I’m surprised I was even able to appreciate what I had the pleasure of seeing, mainly because only 30 minutes before, I was in the process of falling asleep on my backpack in the square in front of the convent.

Da Vinci's "Last Supper"

After that, we all agreed we had had enough. We took a taxi back to the airport, picked up our rental car, and made the hour and a half drive to Como, Italy. Our hotel, Grand Hotel di Como, is gorgeous, and I’ll have to post pictures of it tomorrow. Unwilling to succumb to the drowsiness that had been nagging us for the past few hours, my dad and I set out on a search for food. Keep in mind, we began the hunt around 5:30 pm. However, we had forgotten a lesson we learned from our last trip to Italy: When we are ready to turn in, the rest of Europe is just waking up. Of every restaurant we scouted for food (in and around our hotel), none would serve dinner until 7:30 at the earliest. Our stomachs hated us for it, but we decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and pass the time by walking around Lake Como. The architecture and landscape of this sea-oriented city is gorgeous: just unbelievably stunning.

Eventually we returned to the hotel and ate course after course, trying to control the impatience that boiled within us as a product of our lack of sleep and beyond empty bellies. Our poor waitress was much more accommodating than we probably deserved.

And now, I am here: sitting in the hotel lobby mooching off of the free Wi-Fi they skillfully place in “public” areas of the hotel. When I travel abroad, it’s nice to have the language barrier sometimes. No one here is willing to ask the quirky American girl why she’s lounging in the front lobby of an exquisite Italian hotel… in her pajamas. I’ve taken refuge in my laptop screen, so I don’t have to look up and meet any of their disapproving glances. Like I have reflected in earlier posts: Most Europeans are nocturnal. Their activities, lives, and interests operate around the time the sun dips below the horizon. For someone such as myself, I’m lucky if I can even keep my eyes open beyond 11. With added sleep deprivation? Fuhgeddaboutit! This is bed time for me. And with that, I’ll say goodnight and sign off.

Buona Notte!

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