Posts Tagged ‘milano’

To Italy!

Posted: September 11, 2010 in Italy, Switzerland
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We went out to Old Jim’s pub for dinner (a burger and a beer) and met some really cool people. Three 23 year olds, one who worked for the UN or something, the other a Swiss Banker, and girl in university. They were really smart guys and we talked for a good 2-3 hours, funny too! Life’s a lot different in Switzerland – very posh in Geneva.

Myself and Heinz had water with our meal – unfortunately we didn’t specify, and ended up buying 4.50$ franc bottles of water… It tasted like regular water.

Most expensive water I have ever drank...

After that we went home to the Hostel and booked another one in Pisa for the next night, our first actual PLANNED trip! We went to bed, but our classmates went out (Geneva parties until 5:00AM).

Confirmed booking of a hostel!

We set the alarm the next day for 6:30AM . . .

The next day…

We heard the alarm go off, but I pressed the snooze button. As I swam into consciousness half an hour later I realized we had a train to catch! We got all our stuff together, had a quick complimentary breakfast in the hostel, and ran off to the train station!

Now unfortunately, the train to Milano was reservation only… And we only decided we were going there the night before, so no time to reserve. There was room on the train… for a bit. We sat in seats when we could, but as the stops went by, more people came on and claimed their reserved seats. We ended up sitting in the luggage compartment for about an hour…

Sitting in the luggage compartment

Beautiful scenery from the train. Apologies for picture quality, cell phone isn't THAT good

Mountains... EVERYWHERE!

Made it to Milano, and took a stroll around the train station – not too much to see, we ate lunch in a small cafe, but didn’t understand the menu so we just pointed and paid. It was pretty good.

Lunch in Cafe

Big train station in Milano

Another shot of the train station

We jumped on the next train to Pisa, which turned out to be one of the bullet trains – it didn’t really seem that fast, but we made it there in about 3 hours (with a half hour stop in the middle).

Our first view of Italy!

Getting off the train in Pisa we were a bit nervous, lot of people, lots of pickpockets apparently, and we weren’t quite sure where our hostel was… or if it even existed.

We walked all the way to the one river, didn’t see any familiar signs, then made our way back to the train station, where we found a free wifi connection. Checked the reservation, got the email confirmation, and discovered the GPS on our phones actually works! Plugged the address in, and we were off to our hostel, the Hotel Helvetia. It was only 1.6km away.

Arrived at the hotel and checked in, we got a free upgrade to a suite that included a bathroom! Hooray!

Nice little room - complete with an old school TV! Everything was in Italian though...

After making use of our bathroom and having some showers, we went out into the streets to tour around. One block later we were standing in front the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Better pictures tomorrow when we get our free tour (included with hostel).

The Leaning Tower of Pisa! Better pictures coming tomorrow

Pretty cool seeing it in real life. We walked around a bit and found a scooter rental shop – Probably going to be renting scooters for Monday to tour the countryside.

We had dinner at a small pizzeria, and ate Lasagna and drank some Ramazotti. It was delicious. And not even that expensive! 9 euros for both lasagna and the drink. Now the Ramazotti was SUPPOSE to be on fire (how its SUPPOSE to be served) but the bartender tried lighting it and it didn’t work. On the plus side, the lasagna was great.

Italian Lasagna!

We also had to buy water again… But this time it came in a fancy 1.5L bottle, and was only 1.50 euros!

View of the Tower from our dining table (with our bottle of water)

Anyways, we just got internet at the hostel (hence the update) and now we’re off for a night on the town. Tomorrow we plan on properly touring the city (with a guide) and then going to the beach for the afternoon. Monday we will most likely be renting scooters to ride along the countryside.

Ciao!