Misery In Milan

Mark Twain made it to Milan where he rhapsodized about its all-marble cathedral. That’s it in the photo above that I took outside. However, Ruth and I made a mistake. Unlike Mark Twain, we didn’t go in. By the time we made it to Milano, we had been in Europe for a couple of weeks and had already seen too many cathedrals. We were delighted to be there but had a full agenda, and we were headed next to Bergamo and Venice, where there were more vast churches to see. But after reading what Twain had to say about the Milano masterpiece, I now regret not going in.

It’s easy to think of outstanding human-created places Ruth & I have been to–the Parthenon, the Golden Gate Bridge, Kyoto’s golden temples come to mind, and so do the Empire State Building and Panama Canal that I mentioned yesterday. However, nothing out of the ordinary happened in Kyoto or New York. We toured the Empire State Building, for example, but no great story came out of the experience.

The last time we saw the Golden Gate Bridge was when I took Ruth to the Bay Area for her birthday in 2014. On the way there we had a collision with a deer that damaged our new vehicle and killed the animal. We went to The Presidio on New Years Day, and everything was either closed for the holiday or was shutting down by 3 pm. Luckily, we were there early enough to see the Disney Museum and eat in one of the Presidio’s fine restaurants, and after 3 we walked around with the other tourists, saw the new approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, and marveled at the repurposing of this mighty former military post with much wildlife that was not running into the traffic. We talked about the time years before when we had booked what turned out to be a very bad hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. It had a name brand but was so bad that guests signed in on a clipboard, and I was propositioned as soon as I walked outside. That time we walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, had lunch in Sausalito, and took the ferry back to the Embarcadero. Travel is seldom predictable.

We saw The Panama Canal on a typical cruise. In other words, many of the ship’s passengers, but not us, had gotten up at 4 am to position themselves at the best vantage points. We got lucky despite this complication. We discovered that the best view of the canal action was in an empty exercise room.

The Parthenon was crawling with stray dogs that some of the visitors were petting as if they were beloved pets. Some of them were quite large, and we were afraid to get anywhere near them. I had a funny, heart-warming encounter in a laundry in Bergamo, but we still have not seen Milan’s thrilling marble cathedral that caused Mark Twain to overuse exclamation marks. “What a wonder it is! So grand, so solemn, so vast!….so graceful!”


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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