So day five was Friday, when i swapped Tuttle for Tyrol.
This was to be the longest train day – 4.5 hours Vienna to Innsbruck, and hour stop and then another 4.5 hours Innsbruck to Milan. Phew – that’s a lotta train.
Hotel Urania in Vienna had all the faded grandeur that you might expect – plus a missing lift, so we had to carry ourselves and stuff up three flights. The wallpaper was like something out of an abstract expressionist porn movie (you all know I’m a connoisseur) at least the wifi was free and available in reception. And it was ten minutes walk to the Mitte station where we could get a metro to the WestBahnhof to get our train – it was a fairly leisurely morning for once and then we settled back and enjoyed the scenery basically from one end of Austria to the other.
At Innsbruck we found the ideal combination – a supermarket for me to stock up on Kabanos and salad and a Burger King for the boy to indulge his love of Bacon Double Cheese Menu mit Pommes und Coke Light – ketchup bitte, nicht mayo!
I’d realised in Vienna that I’d left my contact lens solution in Berlin (the only mishap so far, fingers crossed) and I contemplated trying to also find a chemist but thought that was pushing my luck. As it was the train was 15 minutes late anyway. So then it was pretty much Heidi-land for a couple of hours with the mountains slowly giving way to smaller hills until we hit Verona and then turned right across northern Italy to arrive in Milan at 8.30 just as the sun was going down. The only downside was my complete knackeredness which made me want to declare war on the giggling group of Norwegian geeks who were playing cards across the aisle.
I took a look at the queue at the ticket desk but decided to try for reservations in the morning. Good move as it turned out but that’s tomorrow’s story.
I was stunned by the architecture in Milan, even in the dark – I’m so ignorant – I’d expected everything to be ultra modern but no, it was big and marble and fascist. Fortunately, I’d worked out that Milan had a metro too (who knew?!? – google maps shows stations, but just doesn’t have details of the times the way it has for other cities) So we took that, complete with water-spraying cooler fans to our little hotel near Il Duomo. 1 Euro for a standard ticket – cheapest metro ever!
I gave up trying my hand at Italian when we arrived and just played stupid British tourist (I do it pretty well). There seemed to be wifi at the hotel, but I couldn’t get it to work and needed sleep more than internet – we watched a bit of Calendar Girls dubbed, but the disjoint between Helen Mirren gabbling away in Italian in a Yorkshire Dale somewhere was too much for either of us.