I flew in to Bergamo airport, which is 40km away from Milan. Had no idea about this until the day of my departure since lovely ryanair calls it "milan bergamo" airport and silly me thought milan is the location and bergamo is the name of the airport.
Anyway, it's not a very nice airport thanks to the dirty toilets, but who cares about muddy tiles, I was in Italy! I leave the airport, wander around in my post flight fatigue, get talked into a bus by a driver who tells me it will leave at 3.40pm. I get on the bus, I'm the only passenger, the clock in the bus says 2.30pm.
So I sit there and consider waiting 1 hour and 10 minutes in the stuffy bus, or whether it would be marginally more comfortable outside in the burning heat.
Laziness wins, as always, and so I sit in the hot bus and contemplate the meaning of life. 30 minutes later, we are joined by another passenger, and the bus takes off. I'm a bit confused at the timing but think - what the hell, if it gets me to Milan Centrale, good enough.
We reach Milan, driver who was so charming when convincing me to get on the bus is rude as hell when throwing me off, I get a bit dazzled at the sudden crowds around me, somehow find my way to the metro station. Metro turns out to be dusty, dodgy and quite unpleasant, as metros tend to be.
I then realize that the clock in the bus was running an hour late, and the bus didn't leave 40 minutes early but 20 minutes late. So I get off at my stop, wrongly follow the directions given by the hostel, wander down the wrong street for 20 minutes until I came to a T junction with no hostel in sight.
Then it was a 20 minute walk back to the metro, and another 20 minute walk in the right direction, found the hostel, but couldn't get inside due to a massive confusion between me, the owner and the owner's cousin (I'm not joking) on the details of my arrival time.
After more confusion, I finally got in to the apartment complex, located the damn place, met the owner, saw that the reviews online were accurate when they said that the hostel is "just a room in some random guy's house".
Indeed. It didn't help that the guy in question demanded 50 euro key deposit (you read that right), was a bit rude, slept in the kitchen on a sofa bed, didn't provide proper cooking facilities, and locked up the kitchen early at night as well as most of the afternoon which meant that if you want to drink water between 3pm to 7pm or after 10pm, you have to drink water from the bathroom.
But, despite all that, it was incredibly clean, centrally located, quiet, reasonably priced, awesome bathroom and his occasional bad humour is rather comical.
Brera BnB.. would I suggest staying there? Only if you need a place to crash for the night..
Also, Italy was HOT. Flying in from rainy ol' england didn't help, obviously, neither did my upbringing in a country that is almost on the equator. It was one fan for two people, but lucky for me, the korean guy I was sharing the fan with didn't like fans. He called it "artificial wind", meaning I got to have the fan directed towards me all night through. Awesome.
So I slept like a baby.
|le ice cream truck|
Spent the day looking around Milan. Even though the impression I had the day before was less than pleasant, by the end of the day, I loved Milan!
|view from Duomo rooftop|
Then we wandered around to Navigli, where I had a lemon gelato which was so cold, icy, refreshing and tangy that I'm salivating just thinking about it. Can't tell you location because we were lost when I bought it, and by the time we had found our way again, who knows where the shop was.
The skies got dramatically dark with huge clouds looming above. Then it rained for all of 10 minutes before the sun came out again in full force. Everything dried up pretty quickly. Brilliant. UK weather, watch and learn, won't you.
No clue what those yellow things are, my guess would be something to keep the water clean? The water was remarkably clear. You could see right down to the bottom. Many people give Milan a miss, which is a shame, because I think it's such an interesting place once it grows on you...