sabato 18 ottobre 2008

A Dull Day

Summer is officially over in Milan. I know this because the communal central heating in my building has been switched on. I don't know if the date for this happening is fixed by law (it wouldn't surprise me) or decided by the resident's association of the building but whatever, a couple of days ago it was 23 degrees outside and the radiators were becoming tepid. I noticed this, hoped that they would get properly warm once the weather actually got cold and having no control over the situation, thought no more about it. Today, however, it's actually cold and, because I didn't realise that the warmth in the flat was coming from the radiators and not the glorious sunshine, I went out with only a thin jacket and ended up buying a cheap cardigan in H&M because I was so cold.

I didn't have definite plans for today, but, having spent most of last weekend working, I was looking forward to this weekend. Waking up this morning, I thought about all the possibilities for the day: shopping in town and coffee with friends, a trip to Lake Como, a visit to a nearby monastery or going Pavia, a pretty town not far from Milan. I texted a couple of friends to see if they wanted to meet up, then, feeling optimistic, headed into town to look at a couple of promising shoe shops that I saw last week.

As usual, I did not find shoes that I could actually wear for a whole day in any of the shoe shops.

Friend no 1 phoned to say that she was in bed with a hangover and would need several hours to recover.

Friend no 2 texted to say she had already gone off on a day trip with some other friends.

Tired of the crowds and brash consumerism of Milan, I decided to go to the monastery and the pretty town for the afternoon. Unfortunately, when I got to Lambrate station, I discovered that the Trenitalia website had lied to me and that the train had left 2 minutes before I got there. The next one wasn't for an hour and I was in no mood to wait.

Lambrate station is near the edge of central Milan, not far from the city bypass and not particularly near anything that you would want to see. The only vaguely interesting thing in the area was the Parco Lambro, the one big park in Milan that I hadn't yet been to, so I decided to go there.

I walked through some not very pretty streets in the direction of the park, stopping to buy some cold pizza from a grumpy woman in a bakery on the way. It was further than I thought and all I was hoping was that it wouldn't turn out to be some gravelly wasteland populated by dog dirt and men in trench coats.

The entrance didn't look to scary and so I proceeded deeper into the park.
It was then that saw it.

A hill!

It was the first one I'd seen in Milan and I think it may be one of only two in the whole city. Almost worth travelling 15 metro stops for. Unfortunately, it had some dodgy looking guys sitting near the top of it, so I decided not to climb it just then and carried on through the park instead. With it being officially winter and everything, it was pretty empty. Most of the people I saw were guys out running and the only women I saw were accompanied by big dogs. If I'm going to feel safe and satisfy my need for green spaces in Milan, it looks as if I'm going to need either a sex change or an Alsatian.

The park has a river running through it, the Lambro, and it would all be very nice if the river didn't smell like a drain and have grey foam floating on it. I walked around for a bit, then went back to the hill. The dodgy guys had gone, so I climbed to the top of it and took a picture of the view from the top.

Then it started to rain, so I climbed back down the hill and came home.

The End

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