It is a travel day today as we move from Venice to Milan. We choose an early morning train and we get woken up to the steady sound of rain on the roof. Into our hiking shoes we go and the hoods go up on our partly waterproof jackets. We have 4 bridges over canals to navigate before we are back at the station. Doing the bridges is a team thing with Tanya taking her bag in one hand and helping me with mine. We have quite the technique going now. There is hardly anyone around as it’s early and its Sunday. You can just hear the clip-pity clop of the wheels of our bags on the cobblestones. Then Tanya notices that it is a bit quieter, she looks over and it’s because she continues to walk straight ahead and I have already turned, Ooops, we are reunited ( blame it on the hood). I can probably diplomatically admit that Tanya is a little short changed on the navigational/ orientational skills so we make a good twin pair, I do the navigating while she keeps up in a pussycatto stride.
On the last big bridge over the Grand Canal she brushes her sore knee which really hurts, but just a silent teeth grinding on her part and she does not miss a beat. We are all good , get our train and settle in for the ride, Tanya a little sedated post Travelcalm with only a barely noticeable drool towards the end of the ride.
We have been warned by our hosts not to take a taxi to the apartment as today there is the 100th anniversary March of the Alpinist troops of the Italian army and the city has been all blocked off for the march. We get a metro ride instead and walk the rest of the way. Our apartment is drop dead gorgeous, fitted out with great taste and all kinds of great nick nacks, pieces of art and high end kitchen gear. The view is out over the city but really open from the 6th floor, an easy turn to the right once outside the lift ( Yeah! Amazing how much we learn to appreciate the modern technology after all the stairs we have done) . The apartment has a fabulous view of the Duomo and adjacent Basilica, these are lit beautifully at night.
After a little relax we decide to hit the road and explore the city. We can hear the music of all the marching bands many blocks before we get there and the crowds are just getting thicker and louder cheering the men and women along. It gets so crowded that we are down to a snail pace, suddenly Tanya swears as she has just slid on a large fresh puppy Pooh on the footpath. She is not the first one but for Tanya it was centre stage to the target. I do console her by saying that this is a sign of imminent good luck in Poland, but it falls on death ears until we come to a grassy knoll and get rid of the evidence.
The troops and bands just keep coming, the lining crowds cheering and clapping them on. We even see a division with dogs, to which I am immediately drawn, one Golden Retriever complaining loudly as his owner is slow on supplying the treats.
The march has been going since 10am it is now 4pm and they are going strong. It has affected many streets and we keep on having to swing around as we can not cut through the line of marching.
It is time to explore the Milanese fashion shops, we concentrate on the multitude of interesting shoe options.
Big names line the streets. Most do not display a price but occasionally……. WOW, out of our league.
It is still a lot of fun to window shop as not only the clothes look amazing but the styles in window dressing are very impressive. All the big names, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Armańi can be seen here.
There is also expensive jewelry and watches displayed to entice.
Then we strike the shop that combines great shoes with handbags.
Well they are edible as it’s a Cioccolateria.
We enjoy the architecture here, with very Grand design, lots of the buildings covered in greenery and even fully blossoming rose bushes.
The streets are wide , but even though it’s now 7pm the March is still marching and even though we have ended up at the opposite end of town we are still cut off from returning home. It just seems a bit like Groundhog Day, each time we make an attempt to turn towards home we hit the march and Polizia cars blocking the roads.
Finally we find a Metro stop which connects underground under the march!! to our side of town. We are absolutely done, it has been such a big day we don’t even feel like going out to dinner, now that says a lot.
The wrap up for the Ode to Tanya is, as we get out of our lift heading for the apartment, Tanya confidently takes the left hand corridor apartments and I head right towards where the apartment is . She is quite aghast at this directional lapse again 🙂 In summary she is the most fun travel companion!
We just go for a quiet pasta and pesto meal prepared at home, finished with Lindt milk chocolate with hazelnuts.