New friends in Milan
We took a bus from Florence to Milan (using Eurolines the tickets were about 19 euros each), and it took us about 3 hours to get there. A metro and bus away, we thought that we were in the home stretch, but little did we know that we were looking ahead at one of the longest days we have had in our trip. Because we decided to not get an international cell phone plan we were limited to only being able to use our phones with wireless. And yes, wireless is extremely hard to find sometimes especially in a city like Milan, where in August, EVERYONE GOES ON VACATION!So we found the place but we couldn't find the keys and because we didn't have wifi, we could not message the guy to ask him. So my brother and I are standing outside these apartments trying to figure out how to get into the apartment. My brother asked someone who was passing by to borrow his cellphone in order to call the guy and get the keys. Well that was a bust. But here we met our first friend. Turns out Bogna (the guy we asked to borrow his cellphone) had a Salvadorian girlfriend, and they felt really bad that we were on the street and perhaps without a place to stay that night. They told us that if the guy from our apartment did not show up we could come stay with them. We then decided to wait a few more hours, without any luck. We had Bogna's number so we decided to give them a call because at this point we were growing a little desperate. So we asked another person walking by to borrow their phone. This would be our second friend, Paula. She was kind enough to point us in the right direction and buy us some bus tickets. After this there was a series of unfortunate events that are extremely numerous so to keep this blog post short I will summarize with: people can be truly amazing and sometimes we meet those kind hearted people that restore your faith in humanity. Those people, in this particular case, were Bogna and Maria. They opened their home to two complete strangers and welcomed us like we were family. We also had the pleasure to meet some amazing people that were related to Bogna and just enjoyed our time with them.
So now that I have explained what happened the first night I was in Milan, I will tell you about how beautiful the city is. My first disclaimer regarding Milan is that you should never go there in August. Why you may ask? Because the Italians actually take vacation days and in August they all go to the beach or somewhere else to escape the hot city. Now that does not mean that we didn't go sightseeing. We checked out the Duomo and the mall, which of course because its one of the fashion capitals of the world, only holds names such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and the like. We walked around the San Isidrio stadium boast one of the best club soccer teams in the world, of course I am talking about AC Milan.
Another great thing we checked out in Milan was the Expo. If you are not familiar with it, it used to be called the world's fair. There are many issues surrounding the fair including but not limited to the false promises that were made to the people regarding job opportunities. In the end, the Expo had volunteers and thus little jobs where actually offered to the people. Nevertheless, the Expo hosted many tents corresponding to different countries around the world, all addressing a very pressing issue: SUSTAINABILITY. It was great to see how many countries are approaching the subject and the steps they are taking to become more eco-friendly while also being able to sustain the growing population. Some of the tents I personally checked out were the Colombian tent, the United States tent, the Germany tent, and the Italy tent. Each country is different and unique, thus the way they look at sustainability is also different.
I definitely enjoyed Milan a bit more than I did Florence mainly because it wasn't as crowded and overall we found the people to be friendlier.