Milan, our Italian journey begins!

We decided to fly from London Stansted to Bergamo airport in Italy on the budget airline Ryanair.  Although inexpensive, you get almost nothing on these flights except a seat and seatbelt (which doesn’t cost extra!).  To avoid incurring any additional fees at the airport which has happened in the past, we checked in from our hotel and also decided to pay the extra 7£ fee per person for priority boarding and two cabin bags.  It should be noted that this fee jumps to 50£ at the airport if you do not select it ahead of time.  Once on the plane we sat there, and sat there, and sat there until finally the pilot came onto the overhead speakers.  In an Irish accent he said something along the lines of, “due to the English not being able to schedule anything properly, they haven’t finished the flight plan and we also have no ground crew, they probably went for lunch.”  He said it could be a while and would keep us posted.  We had been on the plane over an hour already.  About 15 mins later the pilot said they had approved the flight plan and were sending a ground crew which appeared shortly after holding sandwiches and coffees.  They had indeed gone for lunch!  So after an hour and a half we were finally on our way to Italy!  Our flight took us over France, Germany, Switzerland, and eventually over northern Italy.

Flying over Britain with Standsted airport visible on the left of the wingtip.

It was unfortunate, if we had been there just a few days later we would have seen Donald Trump and Airforce One touch down.

Some of the Swiss Alps from the air.

Lake Como

Once we touched down and cleared customs (which involved a boarder guard distracted on his phone while stamping passports) we found a bus to go to Milan and arrived at the central train station.

The bus into Milan.

From there we walked to our Airbnb and got settled in.  We were pretty tired at this point so we went to the local grocery store and bought and assortment of meats and cheeses and some focaccia and sat down to watch the World Cup in our Airbnb.

The wine prices at the corner store. (1€~$1.17 USD).

The next day we continued to explore Milan including the Sforzesco Castle and the 3rd biggest cathedral in the world the Duomo di Milano.  Unfortunately we didn’t make it into the Duomo but the craftsmanship outside was still amazing!

One of several city fountains.

The gardens in front of the castle during dusk.

The Duomo di Milano

A sculpture of Jesus in the manger on the main doors of the Duomo. My assumption is that baby Jesus is polished from the many hands that touch him.

Milan is more of an industrial city so the amount of foreign tourists that we noticed was less compared to London and New York.  We also had our first opportunity to try the popular Italian cocktail the Negroni.  When we ordered two Negornis the waiter asked, “Alchohol?” to which we replied yes.  To this day we are both convinced that it had almost 500mL of alchohol and nothing else, all for just 6€.

The Negroni!

Once we had finished we slowly made our way over to “Pescaria” for a delicious seafood sandwich in a turtle shaped toasted bun.

A local bakery that provided us with Focaccia and sweet treats each morning!

Gelato from “Il Massimo del Gelato” located just around the corner from our Airbnb. These flavours are coffee and mango!

Our last few days contained more signseeing as well as a ride on their tram network on a ATM series 1500 tram from the 1930’s which was a big hit!

Streetcar #1935 built sometime in the early 1930’s (number has no bearing on year built).

We also enjoyed several cocktails at a popular spot “Rita” in the Naviglio Grande canal region where the apperitivo of chips, carrots, and bread bites comes standard with every drink.

Naviglio Grande region

Lastly we dined at 100 Montaditos, a popular spot for the seasoned traveler.  Tomorrow we move onto the next area, Florence!

David Mulder

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