Leave without a plan.
The kind of supposedly aspirational undertaking which is plastered across bucket lists everywhere. Leave without a plan. In reality, this may not be the most sensible solution. Leave, perhaps with a vague plan and a guidebook at the very least and maybe don’t start making your plan while in the queue, for the check-in desk, at the airport.
* Note: I’m uploading from my phone so not sure if the photos will show up… all the computers in the hostel are being used by severe looking Swedish people and I’m scared to approach! *
Emily and I started doing exactly that as we prepared to leave for Milan four days ago. The guy behind us in the queue laughed and shook his head and then started throwing his own opinions and suggestions into the mix with our own half formed plans. The truth is, there is so much to see and do in Italy that is beautiful and breathtaking and fun that it is really kind of exciting to be able to go when and where we feel like it, properly exploring the country.
We touched down in Milan, ever grateful for the efficiency of the public transport (NYC metro could learn a lot from these guys!) and since then we have been wandering around, exploring, eating ice cream and generally being amazed by the stunning architecture, and everything else that the city has to offer.
On our second evening, we stopped into a swanky restaurant which, like many in this district, offer tantalizing buffets which are yours for free, as long as you buy one of their impossibly strong cocktails, and as long as you can convince the waiter that you’re not twelve… Of course, we were sold, but unfortunately we were dressed for grubbing around the city, and not for swanky restaurants. The waiter seemed particularly unimpressed by the old stripy t-shirt I was wearing. (I think its from BabyGap and I’ve had it since the dawn of time, so he had a point) He gave me a look as if to say “you? You impossibly short legged individual, don’t think you can come round here in your sailor suit and play me for a fool!” I actually turn eighteen in less than three weeks, so I had been remarkably optimistic about this encounter, and was consequently bitterly disappointed. Then again, I have been playing fast and loose with my as yet unblemished criminal record for several years now, buying child tickets on trains (ooo, how hopelessly rebellious…) and nobody has so much as batted an eyelid, so I probably shouldn’t have been at all surprised.
He actually was genuinely shocked when Emily showed ID confirming that she is in fact nearly twenty and after that he didn’t even bother checking my ID, which was convenient. (:
We returned merrily to our hostel and began to plan our next move. We’d really like to do a circuit of the whole country and for our next stop, our sights are set on Florence.
Milan is really cool, and when we get back here for the end of the trip, I will definitely be filling up on pizza and icecream and architecture before going back to England!
I will keep you posted of our progress!