Friday, April 4, 2014
Arrived and off again
Yesterday we were pretty fuzzed out with jetblag. We actually had quite a good time with Giovanni (the innkeeper) and his family. His wife is quite wonderful, always offering me coffee - tiny cups of strong espresso - which I mostly accept. When he got home from work, Giovanni had his teenage-age son, Rosario, come in to help translate. Not feeling confident of his skills in English, Rosario invited his friend Fabio, who'd had considerable practice in English playing on-line games with a Palestinian. We laughed a lot using google translate on the iphone.
The flight had been very good, all three of them. We'd spent the extra frequent flyer miles on a First Class splurge, and were really boggled by the treatment we'd gotten. The extra seat room was special enough. But the transatlantic flight from Newark was over the top. Each seat was a little cocoon, and when we were done with our fabulous meal, served on ceramic plates with endless glasses of wine, the seats slid forward and the backs went flat. Yup, a real bed! It was still an airplane, noisy and bouncy, but I was soooo glad not to have spent that nine hours in Economy, with my knees pressed into the reclined seat ahead of me, and my arms trailing over my neighbors seat.
We spent today - our first real day - in Milano, an hour's train ride away. We saw the important sites: the train station, the rather fabulous cathedral-duomo, and a fine galleria, a 19th century shopping center with beautiful mosaics underfoot and a steel-and-glass dome and roof six stories above us (and no cars!). We had lunch in a small restaurant off the square, where I think I shocked the waiter by having a coffee - always an espresso, here - with my meal. (At least I didn't order a cappuccino after 10 AM, apparently a hanging offense in Italy).
Then we spent some time figuring out the metro system and rode it back to the train station, where we arrived just in time to get the train home.
Now we're packing and repacking, getting ready for tomorrow. We're leaving on a jet plane, again, at 6 in the morning, again. So we need to be at the airport by 4. In the morning. And tomorrow night we'll be sleeping in Marrakech! More later...
Paul (and Paula)