Let’s go shopping.
One cannot be in Italy without having visited Milan. At least not if you want to experience one of Europe’s great fashion venues. For us, it was also time to shop for some new clothes. Therefore Milan was also one of our must-see pins. We planned to visit a few markets, the Arcade and the Great Cathedral.
Such a disappointment.
We had done some research and found out that there was a large flea market in town. We love to walk around at flea markets and find curiosities in such places, so we parked next door and decided to sniff around. We were terribly disappointed. Like so many other flea markets we had visited on our journey, it was nothing more than a place for stolen goods. Hundreds of phones, laptops, and jewelry. Unfortunately, this is a trend we have seen a lot. We used to have a romantic idea of finding vintage toys, beautiful porcelain, etc in these markets, but this market also turned into a short visit for us.
When we got back to the camper, we couldn’t believe our own eyes. We had been burgled again!!! After the first burglary, we had secured the doors, but it had only resulted in the window being broken this time. Again, chaos met us and this time the thieves had also stolen all our clothes, as well as our bed! Yes, you read right. The linens and mattress were gone. How this can happen, on an open street and in such a short time, is a mystery to us! Again, we had to go to the police station and report a burglary, and again we had to clean up, realizing how much we had lost this time. It was horrible and unfair !!!
Should we quit?
After cleaning up and after having recovered for a bit, we talked for a long time about what to do next. People around us had begun to suggest that we returned home and it all seemed a little hopeless to us too. If we had to encounter a new burglary every month, it wouldn’t be worth it. But we came to the conclusion that thieves and bandits should not bring us down! They should not kill our dream. In the future, we just had to change our routines and be even more aware of securing the camper when we leave it. In addition, we would upgrade Mr. Hymer, the camper, to a top secure fortress, with all the tech we could find. That we have done!! Mr. Hymer, the tank. Can’t keep heroes like us down…
Reinstalling our home
That night we slept on the couch with a blanket and the next day we went to IKEA and Jysk to buy new duvets. It was worse with the mattress, which was made specifically for Mr. Hymer and only in the same number as campers produced. It would cost a fortune to get a new custom made one. And take time. So we bought a luxury memory-foam mattress that we would cut in shape ourselves. Then we lodged at a campsite. This was one of the changes to the routines we decided on. When we visit the big cities in the future, we leave our home in a campsite and use public transportation.
If there is a will…
It wasn’t easy cutting the mattress, but we succeeded. We actually looked forward to sleeping on a brand new, super soft mattress.
A lot of guards.
While we waited for the mattress to “un-fold” (72 hours the wrapper said!), we took the bus and metro to Milan center. One of the things that immediately struck us, was the large crowd of police and military guarding buildings all over the city. When we arrived at the cathedral, there were 2 checkpoints to go through before being let in. Both guarded by the military, who examined people’s bags and scanned them with a metal detector.
As written in a previous post, we don’t bother going into churches that cost a fortune to enter. This was the case for Milan Cathedral, also called Il Duomo. It was really beautiful from the outside and we enjoyed that and were certain, that we would stumble upon another beautiful (and free) church while being in Milan.
Jumping into a trap.
At the square in front of the church were a lot of pigeons and here we were caught in one of the many tourist traps. Even though we tried diligently to ward it off. We saw how others stood in the middle of the flock of pigeons, stretching out their arms and making the pigeons sit on them. We wanted to try that too and take a few pictures while doing so. Immediately a man came and put some corn kernels in our hands, which the pigeons munched on as he took some pictures with his camera. We tried to say that he didn’t need to, but in a hurry he had us standing together, giving us more corn in our hands and taking more pictures. From a small printer in his bag, he produced a nice picture of us and asked for 30 Euro. We found a few coins in our pockets and offered them to him for the corn and he seemed rather offended. However, we did not have a bad conscience, since we had protested throughout the whole session. In fact, he ended up taking the coins and giving us the picture anyway. Many would probably have felt forced to pay the 30 Euro, but our advice is, only to pay for what you order.
From the church, we proceeded to the arcade called Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. It is truly a piece of beautiful architecture. With its glass roof rising high above the beautiful tiles on the floor, and the beautiful facades of the shops inside, it is one of the finest buildings we have seen. And that’s where we had planned to do some power shopping. Yes, we could have done that, even though there were only expensive branded stores in the arcade. We could have spent a lot of money, but oh my, the clothes were so strange! Not something normal people would wear. Instead, we made a small series of crazy pictures of our window shopping. It was great entertainment for people passing by.
Just strolling around in Milan.
Afterward, we wandered around Milan without being particularly impressed. As with so many other big cities, it was like going for a walk on any other main street. With that said, we are not all that fond of big cities and we are sure Milan is amazing for those who are. However, on a small side street, we found a restaurant without tourists, which served a great pizza and delicious pasta bologna. But we did not buy any clothes, because nothing fell into our taste.
On our bucket-list of things to see in Milan was Crazy Cat Cafe. A cafe that also houses 9 cats, that you can pet while drinking coffee. For animal lovers like us, that was the perfect ending of a day in Milan. Read our review of the cafe here. (Sorry for the Danish speak in the crazy videos. I guess you can read the expectation, from the stars my eyes).
The trip back to Mr. Hymer, also made us a lot wiser on the Italians. We learned how everything is shouted out, in Italian through a bad speaker, at the metro stations. This means that people like us, have no chance of understanding anything, or finding out that trains are canceled. After some chaos at the station, people suddenly ran up the stairs and by asking a metro valet, we found out, that someone had jumped out in front of the train at one of the other stations. Therefore, buses would be driving instead of trains. We arrived among some of the first people at the bus stop and here we also learned something new. The Italians have very pointy elbows and no queue culture. As more and more people were unloaded by the trains in the subway, more and more people showed up to get on the buses. There were hundreds of passengers and police had to step in, so people didn’t block the road. Since we had been pushed away by Italians from 4 buses, despite being the first in line, we had to defy our normal behavior and push as much as them. Otherwise, we still would have been standing there.
It took us 3 hours to get back to the campsite. Here we reflected a little on the day and concluded (again) that we don’t like big cities. There are far too many people, noisy traffic and the shops do not have much of interest either. Nah we are more for nice little towns, with everything they have to offer.
– Text: Eva. Adding, captures and photo editing: Malthe