Tuesday 15th September
Got up at around 8.30am today and had breakfast and a shower before getting ready to go and get the train. Strangely, I had no hangover this morning and, even though I felt pretty tired, I didn't feel ill in the slightest. Unlike another recent experience, I made it for my train with plenty of time to spare and found my seat in a compartment with a Chinese couple and an English lady, Julia, who now lives in Kenya.
We all talked for pretty much the whole journey which was pretty good as the journey was 5 hours and there is nothing worse than sitting with people in uncomfortable silence for such a long time and also it's boring as hell! 5 hours was a little much to be honest for a train journey. I don't mind 3 hours but 5 hours was too long. Still, at least it's not as bad as a plane where you are crammed in and pretty much just have to sit there!
Tomorrow I have another train journey and that one will take 5 and a half hours so I am glad that I decided to break the journey up. Even though I have already been to Milan I don't mind having an overnight here. It's somewhere relatively familiar to me and is the first place where I have felt confident of where I am going since I left Chester almost a month ago. As soon as I got off the train I remembered where there was a tourist information office so headed straight to the Duomo to find it and look for a hostel for the night.
The tourist information office pointed out a hostel not far from the San Siro, another area I am relatively familiar with from my trip to watch Inter Milan against Fiorentina last April. I got the metro from the Duomo to by the hostel which only cost €1 - I love travelling in Italy as it so cheap. If you are using the metro a lot you can get a day ticket for €4 that gives you unlimited use! The hostel cost me €20 for the night and although this is more expensive than some have been I can't really complain as it is in Milan. The hostel itself seems pretty good. It's fairly big and there are lots of people around to talk with.
When I arrived in Milan it was raining and continued to rain all day long. I felt somewhat strange walking around the fashion capital of the world in England shorts and a sweaty t shirt in the rain and I swear that people actually laughed at me! I decided to go and get a new outfit that would be more suitable for this kind of location and, indeed, weather. I was absolutely starving though so I had a calzone at the Galleria in the Duomo shopping centre. Again, it cost more than I would ideally like to pay but I had been there last year with Emma and remembered it being particularly nice.
Once I had satisfied my stomach I took a walk down the via Manzoni to search for my favourite shop in the world - Emporio Armani! I couldn't really afford to pay the prices there but I decided to buy something anyway and ended up walking out of there with a pair of jeans, a t shirt and a nice new zip up hoody. Even though they are all casual clothes I immediately felt better walking around Milan and, all of a sudden, people stopped looking at me strangely.
The Duomo made a massive impression on me again and I decided to get a few photos of both the cathedral and the shopping centre in the evening. As I had already visited Milan I decided not to walk around taking loads of photos, if you would like to see Milan then I have another photo album on Facebook with all the photos from last year's visit in April. The Duomo was so amazing though that I had to get more photos!
I headed back to the hostel at around 9pm and met a guy called Thomas from Spain who would be sharing the room for the night. He is in Milan for study and is in his final year of law and economics. We got talking to some people outside who showed us where we could find a few beers so we walked there and got a few bottles to sit outside the hostel with. We actually ended up sitting outside the hostel until about 3am talking with loads of people there.
There were lots of different nationalities gathered there including Dutch, Belgian, Australian, Spanish and Ukranian. I was actually the only English person there for a change but, luckily, English was the common language so most of the conversation was conducted in English. It was interesting to hear so many different languages being spoken between people though. I'm not sure why but I like to listen to foreign languages even though I can't understand a word sometimes.