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Old 17th January 2010, 14:00   #1
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Default Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...

Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-img_0519.jpg
After exactly a decade I land in a foreign country on a New Year. Yes, the last trip I made on a New year was 01-01-2001 and now its 01-01-2010. Whats a better way to start a new year?

This time it was Italy. Although I have been in Italy for several times, it was always south of Italy, Catania. But this time it was Milano. Wow, I thought myself so lucky and plan for Rome, Pisa, Venice and florence. Never thought how I will make it, but just want to make it happen.

On 31st Dec, I book the cab for the 01:00am through the Meru cabs. Pack the stuff and ready for celebrating the new year in Milano!

At 12:30am sharp, I get an SMS giving details about the cab and the driver contact number. I wait for the next 30min for the cab to arrive. It crossed 1:00am but the cab was not to be seen. Got anxious and give a call to the mobile number of the driver. He picks the phone after a long ring, and speaks from his sleep. I tell him he was suppose to pick me at this time to Airport. He plainly refuses saying he was not intimated and hangs the phone.

Oh my god! I have just 3 hours to the flight and no cab. Add to that my telephone line was dead. Try calling Meru cabs through my mobile for 30min only to get a voice recorded message informing I was in the queue and wait time was 1 min. And that 1 min never decreased or increased. I give up and call Easy cab. Same, no one picks the phone. I call my office and request for a cab, but nothing available at that time.

Now what to do? It was 1:40am. Then I again call my office fellows and explain him the situation. He says he knows other drivers who can drive me to airport, but they will not give any bills. Hell with the bill, I say him. I need to catch the flight @ 4am. So, please arrange for a cab immediately.

Finally at 2:30am, I get a cab at my door. And I reach the Airport at 3:30am. Check-in my baggage, finish my immigration and finally take my seat in the waiting hall. Relaxed!

And boarding starts at right time, all set to Milanao.

I feel sick in the flight, and informed the hostess not to disturb me and go for sleep.

I flew through Dubai Airport in Emirates flight. Had a nice sleep all through the flight and land in Milano [Malpensa Airport] @ 1pm local time.

I went to rental car office, got the key and got my car. I start the car and then feel like fainting. I could not even see properly. I was badly sick. So, I decide not to drive and cancel the car.

Took a Taxi to my hotel and reached the hotel. I check-in to hotel and do only one thing. Sleep. When i woke up, it was next day 5am. Wow, I was sleeping for almost 2 days, in flight & in here.

I could not get up since I had temperature. I call reception and ask them to arrange for a Doctor. He informs there is one Hospital right next to the Hotel in 300m. But I was not in a position to walk. So asked him to arrange for a private doctor. Doctor comes and checks.

First thing he said was, I had no energy and my BP was badly low. Because I did not eat or drink anything for the past 2 days. Only then I remember, I had nothing in flight or after the flight till now. All my joints were also paining. He identifies it to be some flu and gives medicines. Hotel guys was good enough to help me buy the medicines too.

The worst thing on a Foreign land is to get sick! You see beautiful scenery outside the window, but cant go out anywhere. And add to that, you get a local holiday. On 6th Jan, it was a holiday in here due to Tiffany day. Man, that hurts

Inform my office about this and tell them I cant get to office for couple of days. So, was in rest for next 2 days. And worked from Hotel for the next 2 days.

It was only on 7th Jan I go outside hotel. Infact, I moved to a different hotel on that day. The new Hotel was in a place called Colleoni and its a pure business area. No shops or restaurants except the hotel. And they close their restaurants on Friday evening and open up only on Monday morning. Even the buses dont ply on the weekend. The only option if you want to go out was to have a car. And you can park the car in the Nearest Subway station to get to the Milan city center.

Ofcourse you can drive in Milan, but forget getting a parking. Add to that you also have to pay congestion charge if driving inside the City.

So, I rented the car in Avis, Monza. It was the Lancia, Musa. Nice small car. But did not get the GPS.

Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-img_0512.jpg

And the Travelogue begins!


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Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-pano_duomo_view.jpg

Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-bellagio.jpg
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Old 17th January 2010, 14:59   #2
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The pics look like half loaded.
Is it me only or others also feel same?

@MJOTHI,
please reload pic no 1, 2 and 3.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 17th January 2010 at 15:01.
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Old 17th January 2010, 19:46   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
The pics look like half loaded.
Is it me only or others also feel same?

@MJOTHI,
please reload pic no 1, 2 and 3.
I dont' see any issues in the pictures. May be any issue in your browser? Please try to delete cache and try. If still does not show up, will reload the pics.
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Old 17th January 2010, 22:09   #4
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Lovely pics - bring it on jothi ji!
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Old 17th January 2010, 23:27   #5
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When I was little ok to walk around, I went to the near by supermarket. I got the stuff and also picked some apples. In the billing, she was saying something to me showing the apple. I had no clue what she was saying. And finally, she just put the apples aside and billed the rest.

I want to buy the apple, but can't. I get hold of the manager over there and explain him the situation. Then I realize that, I was suppose to put the sticker on the cover of apple by putting the apple on the weighing machine in store, key in the rack number for the apple and getting the sticker.

Heck, how do I know? Customer service. I just thought of Japan stores, where if the same thing happened, the person would have went herself and got it done. That's Japanese. Hmm. It was wrong on me to expect the same from these guys.

Anyway, it was a nice experience shopping. Oh, you need to pay for the plastic cover too.

One thing I noticed here is, there was literally too many Puntos. Especially the Ivory / white color. Look at the below picture of parking lot and you know.

Some more the pictures from my Hotel and surrounding.

Hospital Bassini

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Parking slot opposite to Hotel

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Weekends are always empty

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Hotel Reception
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Restaurant

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Outside the super-market

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Inside the super-market.
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Count the ivory Punto
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View from Hotel Window

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Tram around the hotel place.

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Hotel I stayed - Different views

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Note the sign board!

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No need to explain
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Yummy Mac's Salad

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That was quick. Sun sets around 4pm
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Old 18th January 2010, 12:53   #6
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Default Visit to the Duomo, the Cathedral.

On the Saturday 9th Jan, I plan to visit the Milan downtown. So, took the car to the nearest Subway Station called Gobba. Driving was pleasant and signs was easy to follow, atleast on the autostrades and reach the station. Was there in less than 40min and parked the car.

Gobba, actually Cascina Gobba, is a major metro station where you have huge parking available. Most of people from North of Milano usually take the subway from here to city center.

It was a slightly foggy day. I was even worried if I would be able to see any good view of the Duomo. Anyway, hoped for the best and continued. As per forecast, it was suppose to rain in later part of the day. So, was planning to finish the rounds atleast before 2pm.

In Italy you mostly buy the public transport ticket in a book shop, bar or the Tabbachi shops. Each travel is 1 Euro which is valid for 70min from first boarding. Or you can also buy the 3 Euro ticket which allows you to take any transport for next 24 hours. You pay 5.5 Euro to get the same ticket valid for 48 Hours.

I got the 3 euro ticket and took the Green line to Loreta. From here we are suppose to change line to go to Center.

Switching to Red Line
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I planned to visit Duomo, the cathedral in Milan. For this you need to take the Red line and get down at Duomo station.

The moment I came up from the station, I was surprised of the View. I am standing right in the Duomo. I was initially worried of searching or walking to the Cathedral. Never thought I will land straight in that place.

The Duomo is the in the center of Milan. All streets of milan begin from here. ANd you have 2 concentric circles around the Duomo. The circle marks the point and defined to base their congestion charges related to this. Driving inside the inner circle is more costlier than the outer one. So, you can see relatively less vehicles around the tourist spot. And its good in a way for the tourist to roam around freely.

The Duomo was started to built in 1386 and got completed around 1800. So, you can see the different cultures mixed in this architecture. It is one of the (2nd?) largest cathedral in world.

It has 135 spires and 3,400 statues on its architecture.

Duomo, The Cathedral
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I see people having fun on the stairs of the station. One side of the staircase was designed in such a way that it sounds the note from Piano for each of the steps. So, people were walking and dancing on that stairs for making those sounds. Hmm, a warm welcome.

Do you notice the guy on Horse?
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Then I see this guy on the horse staring at me. Ya, its the statue right in the center. I take a picture of the fellow and turn back. I see one person looking at me. For a moment, I can literally read his mind. He was also alone like me in this place and longing to pick-up some talk with other than Italian people.

I say a hi to him, we greet each other and finally seems he is from Bangladesh. Good, atleast we have someone to take a picture of ourself.

I always had this problem when going to many places. I will take all pictures of the places, but seldom will have myself in those pictures.

If you notice closely, there are statues literally everywhere in the cathedral. Right from the towers to the walls, rails of the stairs etc.

We keep clicking each others pictures and the Duomo in different angle and approach the gate. We had a security check and enter the Duomo.

More click's of the Duomo
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It was really impressive. The statues are all from 15th and 16th century. One would wonder how precisely these were made in those olden days.

The window in different painting was a wonderful work. The colors used and the outside sunlight through the glass makes it look even more excellent for viewing.

Some of the interior pictures of Duomo

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The grills(?) are made with stone. Looked like porcelain to me. Even on the roof of the cathedral, most of the stairs and rails are constructed using marble/granite.

Grills

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Old 18th January 2010, 17:27   #7
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Hi

That is a good travelogue...very Italiano.
Sorry to note that you fell ill on a phoren trip, not a good thing to happen on a trip.

Good photographs there. Reminded me of, my trip to Milan, Rome and a small town some 100 KM from Rome, way back in 2003

Are you back in Bangalore or still in Europe ?,
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Old 18th January 2010, 17:37   #8
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Hi Mjothi very good travelogue, buy new DSLR camera to capture Italy. Any plans to visit German to meet German.
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Old 19th January 2010, 02:20   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hi

That is a good travelogue...very Italiano.
Sorry to note that you fell ill on a phoren trip, not a good thing to happen on a trip.

Good photographs there. Reminded me of, my trip to Milan, Rome and a small town some 100 KM from Rome, way back in 2003

Are you back in Bangalore or still in Europe ?,
Thanks. No still in Italy. Will be back by this saturday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sha View Post
Hi Mjothi very good travelogue, buy new DSLR camera to capture Italy. Any plans to visit German to meet German.
Ya, seems its time for that.

Sorry, I have no plan to meet any kids in Germany
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Old 19th January 2010, 11:58   #10
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At the far end of the cathedral, there was a lively and scary statue of Saint Bartholomew. Seems it was sculpted by the artist and in fear, he did not want to even accept it was him who did this work. Because, the statue shows the saint after he was skinned alive!!!

Saint Bartholomew - Skinned Alive.
Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-img_0551.jpg

Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-img_0554.jpg

The statue is so real you can see the veins and muscles like a real human standing there. Great work. But if it was true that he was skinned alive, oh no.

We move around the cathedral and saw the body of some saint persevered from 1584.

Pictures around the Cathedral

Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-img_0560.jpg

Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-img_0563.jpg

Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-img_0565.jpg

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Then we came out in search of the steps to reach the roof. You have 2 options to reach the roof. One is through the lift, and other walking up in the steps. I was in the impression that we will get some good view while walking and hence took the steps. Later found that it was just waste. Its a narrow and steep staircase which gives no view by only pain in legs.

Pay "this" to climb the roof!

Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-img_0558.jpg

Stairs cost 5Euro and Lifts cost 8Euro. I guess 8Euro would have been worth. Anyway, finally when we reached the top all the pain in the leg just vanished due to the excitement we had.

Panoramic view of the pillars

Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-pano_duomo_roof.jpg

Its a must to climb up here and have the view of Milan. Although it would have been great in looking at the Alps from here in Summer. It was little cloudy and hence we did not get the best view.

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Words cant express the excitement. Pictures can speak a little. It had to be felt by presence.

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Look at the work on these marbles.

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Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-img_0580.jpg

Climbing the stairs and Walking through the roof was little tiring. But the view was just helping to forget all those.

Time for relax!
Benvenuti in Italia! Duomo, Lago di Como and much more...-img_0584.jpg

Some repair works are going on the roof. So, may be in a year it will be back to its glory. Not that it misses now. But still.

The weather was also helping us till this time. It was shiny, but just started to drizzle. So, we took nice pictures and then returned back. Had some good lunch around the Duomo..

Again roamed a little in those drizzling rain and had the view of the shops. There are plenty of small 'portable' shops selling souvenirs, wall hangs, T-Shirts etc.

To the right of the Duomo, you have the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II building. Its basically the old building converted to the shopping complex. Nice shops, mostly the top brands and felt those are really expensive items. Anyway, no expense for window shopping, right?

Finally around 2:30pm, left from the place. Took the subway and reached Gobba Parking.

This time thought of driving towards the countryside and skipped the autostrade roads. Eventhough it was not as easy as the toll road, but was fun.

For sure this day would be a very memorable one for me. An thinking that, ticked one item from my list-of-places-to-visit checklist.

Now, what's next?

Y should I miss this inverted 'Y'? Yes, next destination is the inverted 'Y' of Italy.

Keep Guessing, will be back!!!
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Old 19th January 2010, 12:36   #11
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Mahesh, this is where you were when i called up. I didnt know you had left.
Nice pics, and i loved those of the cathedral.
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:14   #12
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Ha! Mahesh an Italian travelogue.
Sad you did not go to meet the kid in germany.
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Old 19th January 2010, 22:32   #13
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Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Mahesh, this is where you were when i called up. I didnt know you had left.
Nice pics, and i loved those of the cathedral.
Yes. I infact got a call from GSMINC too and so got worried what happened.

And about the Cathedral. Yes its an excellent one. The whole cathedral is covered with Marble an that gives an extra texture. The marble is of pinkish shades and different grades. So, the texture makes it even more beautiful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Ha! Mahesh an Italian travelogue.
Sad you did not go to meet the kid in germany.
Yup. I called & talked with the kid, but no plan to visit. He stays so far from here.
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Old 19th January 2010, 22:44   #14
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Mahesh did you get the chance to have a look at the Last Supper? It is somewhere in Milan I suppose.
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Old 19th January 2010, 23:01   #15
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Mahesh did you get the chance to have a look at the Last Supper? It is somewhere in Milan I suppose.
No I haven't and its almost not possible.

You need to reserve for the time and you get 15min to view the gallery. And the reservation is suppose to be done months before. Anyway, in case I happen to plan to revisit, probably book it before hand
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