Our day started at 0430 as we made our way to the airport for the flight to Milan. You all know I’m not a fan of flying and was a bit nervous about flying around in Europe. The plane was bigger than expected and the flight was just an hour so it flew by (haha) quickly. #thankgoodness #cheerstoquickandefficentsecurity #gimmealltheespresso
We landed at the airport and hopped a quick shuttle to the Milano train station. To be honest our first glimpse of Italy made both of us sad as it was all highways and concrete jungles similar to the USA. However, once we arrived in the city it was a lot nicer. Le Husband did some research and found out most train stations have a service where you can check your luggage while you hang out in the city and they will then bring it to your carriage fifteen minutes before your train time. After wandering around the station we found the service, left our bags the set off to explore the city of Milan.
Y’all, it was the strangest thing, the city around the train station was dead quiet and most of the shops were closed. On a Monday! I said to Le Husband "we need to move to Milan if this is how Mondays roll”. We found out MUUUCH later we were visiting on Liberty Day so most people were on holiday, which made everything clear.
After walking a few blocks we made it to the ‘center’ of the city and perused some of the shops. Only one purchase was made and that was new sunglasses for me since I left the Oakleys Le Husband bought for my birthday last year on the plane (insert crying emoji here)! I like the pair I bought but man am I mad about my other sunnies. Oh, and how funny is this shirt?!? Old Rag in Milan! #hollaatmyhikingpeeps #vafriendsknowwhereitsat
Our layover was only four hours so we walked around, had some lunch (very isappointing first meal in Italy), headed back to the train station and paid a euro to go to the restroom. YES! The train station charges a euro for the bathroom, how insane right? I really didn't want to pay but nature called, wah!
Speaking of bathrooms, this was the toilet at the restaurant in Milan. How in the heck do you work this as a lady?
The train was a bit smaller than I personally expected and not quite as relaxing as anticipated. But, it ran smoothly and offered us some time to try and catch up on sleep, watch videos and study. We passed through many a town and some beautiful hillsides, definitely what you think of on an Italian train.
Soon it was time to get off the first train and change to the next. With the 30 minute down time we were able to glimpse the beauty of Cinque Terre. Le sigh, so lovely (thanks BOFF for the recommendation)!!!
We met our Airbnb lady at the train station and I was SO EXCITED when she spoke English. She was originally from California and married and Italian man so she ended up in Cinque Terre. I HIGHLY recommend AIRBNBs when in CT, much cheaper prices than the hotels. Marta gave us the lay of the land, told us where and where not to eat then gave us a quick back story on all the trails. Once she left it was off to dinner which was an AMAZING first meal in the Five Lands.
What we ate: Some disappointing and delicious meals, but overall a winner I think.
Honestly, Cinque Terre was a favorite so I'll be spending a bit of time recapping all of our adventures. It is a very hiking related area and the people are incredibly kind and helpful. Next week I'll be talking about a two hour hike that turned into the big hike through all five lands.