Just over a week ago, I got on a train in the Gare de Lyon. We sped across France, the Alps and the plains of northern Italy, and seven hours and fifteen minutes later, I stepped off the train at Milano Centrale and back into my old life.
And for one week, I lived that life again (in fact, it was better than my old life, because I was on holiday and didn't have to go to work) and I remembered how much I loved it. Then, seven days later, I got back on the train, and seven hours later, was back in my French life again.
The trip was amazing. Sad, in some ways, because it reminded me of things that I had left behind, but satisfying too, because it showed me that many of these things are there, no further than a train journey away.
I spent the first day walking around Milan, reminding myself of all the familiar places and discovering the coffee shop in the Mondadori bookshop on the Piazza del Duomo, which has delicious hot chocolate, comfortable chairs and a great view of the square and the cathedral. Then I walked down to the Navigli, caught the metro back to the castle and the Parco Sempione, wandered around some of my favourite shops, and went back for more coffee in Mondadori. Here are some of the more picturesque things that I saw: