Its holiday season and whilst I’m not off basking in margarita fuelled solar delight this year I thought I’d share with you some notes I made whilst on various trips in the past- i might have to do a few of these posts so i can share more adventures. I haven’t always kept a travel diary but when I have, it has been mostly on holidays with friends rather than family. The latter are usually very relaxed and strictly about having fun -not doing touristy things.For the former, I’m usually meticulous with planning holidays making sure to see everything worth seeing and still chill out and enjoy the local atmosphere.
I love travel and plan to see as many of the world’s 194 or so countries in my lifetime. Its a proper goal of mine.I have this insatiable desire to explore new places and absorb as many different cultures as I can.I have a nomadic heart I guess, and fancy myself a version of Robert Kincaid in ‘The Bridges of Madison County’.
Travel Diary excerpt from November 2011 (I left out names of friends on purpose)
France —> Italy (first day of a trip to Italy that started in Milan before we headed to Florence & Rome)
We arrived at Milano Malpensa on a foggy Wednesday morning after a 1hr 15min flight from Charles de Gaulle. Waking up at 4am to get to the airport after just 3 hours of sleep was TORTURE. I’m the coconut head that chose to start packing at midnight *cough*.We ended up getting there too early –thanks to the RER. There was a man at the airport eating a croissant with a pint of beer at 6.45am -Nothing like kick-starting your day with a bright and boozy attitude, I guess. Airport behaviour confounds me.
We took the express train to Cadorna and the metro to Gambara, found the hostel, dropped our stuff and were ready to explore.I reeked of sleep deprivation and excitement in equal measure. Milano at first glance was a little underwhelming. Yes the architecture was charming with fairy-tale floral balconies on buildings and that odd disparity in architectural styles that sections of a single building would hold but the atmosphere was just …dull. We made our way to Santa Maria Delle Grazie which houses Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ but we couldn’t get in because we hadn’t booked in advance. Bummer. We then found ourselves at a trattoria in a dodgy street near p.ta Genova were we had pasta and wine for 6 euros each. A meal for 6 euros?! Crazy. That’s the price of a Starbucks coffee in Paris. Jokes
After that, we went to the real tourist haven starting with the Duomo di Milano in the Cathedral Santa Maria Nascente. Wow. I have chills just recalling how beautiful it was. Completely blew me away. It is hands down one of the most stunning buildings I have been in, in my life. It completely kicks the Notre Dame (Paris) and St Pauls Cathedral (London)to the curb. I said a prayer, lit two candles and took some photos. Right next to it is the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle – the most gorgeous shopping centre ever (the worlds oldest one apparently) which housed all the designer brands. It had that outdoors-indoors effect with the walls of the shops inside, made to look like the outside of a palatial building. Stunners. Apparently the architect died falling off the roof of the Galleria – good grief! It had gorgeous restaurants as well and an urban centre where we encountered an eccentric old lady and her dog. The moment she realised we spoke english she started ranting on about how the english language is so “undemocratic” and how it stole lots of Italian words then she moved on to complaining about the proposed modernisation of Milan. By the end of the conversation she was speaking french to us and just being a hilarious nutter.
We’d been warned that the Teattro alla Scala would be a disappointment and whilst it was nothing special aesthetically it’s still the first opera house in the world so it can’t be dissed. Anyways after a short stint sitting on some stairs eating pistacio gelato, we decided to go to a bar which ended up being closed- we were so exhausted anyway so no complaints. Bedtime ended up being 8.30 pm -Rock ‘n Roll lifestyle or whaat?! haha
Overall, Im glad we only spent one day in milan, Apart from a few stunning bits, the fashion capital of the world blends into your sandard European city, The Duomo is worth visiting it for though! Im still high on its amazingness. its now the next and im on a train to Firenze (Florence) *massive grin*
Sometimes one song encapsulates an entire trip and brings it back like an ex love when you catch a waft of the perfume you wore whilst in that relationship.I’ll retire with the theme song of my most recent holiday which was in California last December. On aroadtrip to Santa Barbara with my sisters and cousins we played it a lot- we have this habit of all dancing like lunatics in the car when on roadtrips together. Calvin Harris& Florence Welch ‘Sweet Nothing’
In my next travel diary post I’ll be sharing a snippet of a trip to Lisbon, Portugal. Bon Voyage! to all those about to go on holiday or currently on holiday.