After leaving Ceuse, we headed to Milan for a lovely few days with one of the Climber’s sisters, Miss Moneypenny the accountant. While waiting for her we stayed in the carpark of a suburban Burger King, which was actually a lot more comfortable than it sounds. Nevertheless we were quite pleased to move into the comparative luxury of an AirB&B apartment. Toilets! Showers! Standing room!
Our little city break was mostly taken up with strolling around the centre of town.
The area is perfect for perambulation – so many wonderful buildings, so many fashionable people, so many amusingly indiscreet tourists.
I also stopped by the stylist I raved about last year and got my hair cut. It was absolutely wonderful, again. You really ought to visit if you’re in Milan dahhhrling.
The Duomo annoyed me by refusing entry (my arms were bare). Why can’t they have robe thingies like most major mosques do? I also got pooped on by a bird, which really didn’t help my mood. I almost didn’t go in the next day because I was still annoyed. I can be so delightfully childish sometimes.
While the Duomo was obviously impressive, I much preferred our trip out to MA*GA which is a contemporary gallery in the City of Gallerate (a suburb of Milan). The exhibition was drawn from the collection and had some really interesting work, especially the sculptures. We had a lovely little picnic in a nearby park afterwards.
When we returned to the van (parked at the gallery) we discovered that the empty carpark had been turned into a cricket field. Apparently there are a lot of Pakistani immigrants in Milan (predominantly single young men) and they don’t have anywhere to play cricket, so they use the car park. The Climber was thrilled to be invited to join in and spent the rest of the afternoon playing while Miss Moneypenny and I had cups of tea and played the uke.
We also had an excursion out to Lake Como. We had a very enjoyable banana mash fight on the train.
I didn’t see George at Como, but the Climber is handsome enough anyway so I just gazed at him adoringly. I also saved some gazing for the lake itself, which is quite romantic. Elegant 18th century buildings sun themselves between the water’s edge and the mountain’s feet and unhurried pleasure seekers stroll the promenades. We found a lovely little private beach/pool sort of place and the three of us spent most of the day on sun loungers pretending to be famous.
After waving goodbye to Miss Moneypenny we headed to the Dolomites. Unfortunately rain had by then set in in northern Italy. We nevertheless spent a couple of days pleasantly mooching in the mountains, enjoying the gorgeous scenery: jagged silhouettes glimpsed between clouds and occasional impressive vistas down into valleys dotted with doll’s houses. I stocked up on good quality pasta and amusing gnocchi type things.
We made an executive decision to head north to Germany, to try and escape the rain (which I know sounds quite odd). We were starting to run out of time – my visa was expiring in four weeks and I had a flight to Kathmandu booked out of Paris via Berlin.