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97 Kms from Iseo
With the rest of the two days of our Italy tour we wanted to make the most of it. Our last destination was Milan.Day 13 evening We reached Milan and straight away went to visit Lake Como .(The detailed about Lake Como is given https://www.tripoto.com/trip/a-dramatic-scenery-lake-como-59f23e2746342) The day ended exploring COMO. Next Morning was a bliss it was drizzling our BnB was cozy and comfortable. The historic part of our host was that she didn't even know a single world of English and there comes the great google translator , which helped us understanding things in a much better way, fortunately the host knew about Bhagwat Geeta and was already reading it, (it was a very good platform for both of us to connect) .She extended a very warm welcome and offered us some food. She has been very supportive for us for guiding about Milan city.Tree lined streets, a charming historic downtown , global capital of fashion and design, Home to the national stock exchange makes it Milan a perfect Alpha Global City. Trendy shops and designer clothes grows like mushroom in this city. Fast-paced metropolis where creativity flourish is the charm of this city.
The capital of Italy is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe since it is filled with as many historical insignias as its modern counterparts. Being the administrative capital of Italy, Milan is also understandably bureaucratic to some extent. What's really enviable here is the beauty of everyday things. The roadside cafes and bars are designed to welcome and not merely swindle. The overall humour is deadpan, but hilarious. It's an outstanding city and a relatively cheap European destination from India.Free things to do while here: Duomo di Milano is one of the most iconic symbols of Italy; also known as the Milan Cathedral, one can climb up to check out the city view from the top by paying a nominal fee. If you've watched enough Italian cinema, you might have developed preconceived notions about the country – a visit to the tiny old alleyways of Brera will validate your ideas and you can click a thousand Instagram-worthy pictures here. Finally, take a stroll down the most fashionable street in world – Via Montenapoleone; if you are travelling on a budget, it'll obviously be difficult for you to buy anything here, but window shopping will be a treat to your fashion desires.Where to eat: Here are three cheap but outstanding places to eat in Milan: 1. Macelleria Equina Da Vito at Via Lorenteggio, 2. Piadineria Artigianale Pascoli at Via Niccolo Paganini, 3. Mr. Panozzo at Via Enrico Noe. The first one has gluten-free options available, while the other two have vegetarian as well as vegan options.Where to stay: Unlike contrary beliefs, one can actually stay in Milan on a budget. Here's one beautiful option to consider.
⑧ ✈ Last Day in Milano
When I was flying to Milan I had to literally pinch myself to believe, that I am going to a foreign land all by myself and living my dream.It was around 11.30 pm when I landed in Milan and divulged myself with some serious pep up talks because I felt a tad bit lost.Amidst all the battles in my head, I saw a young woman walking towards the train station and befriended her. To my surprise, she was warm and very helpful. She expressed, “I will come with you till the hostel and grab a drink. I am very upset coz my best friend has moved to another city.” And that’s how her melancholy saved me the despair of finding my way.The walk towards the hostel was fascinating as all I saw around me were stores thriving to get my attention and at the end of the long stretch was the hostel — Ostello Bello.The moment I set my foot in the hostel, it seemed like I have entered a high-octane resto-pub. The place played electrifying music and I could hear tons of chitter-patter with copious amount of laughter coming from every corner.Amidst all the initial formalities of checking-in, my eyes were searching for my friend (Sigh! Struggling to remember her name). That’s when Helder (from the front desk) said, “Hey! Your friend just went and left you a kiss,” and I couldn’t do much but smile and thank her from all my heart. The ‘happy’ me chit chatted for a while with everyone before calling it a night.
We got off at the Duomo di Milano Church in Milan. Also known as the Milan Cathedral, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan and also the largest church in Italy. The white marble facade of this huge church makes it a top tourist attraction. You can take the elevator or stairs to get to the top and enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
We reached Milan by 5 PM in the evening.It was a great trip that took us back in time.
We started the journey from Milan Centrale at about 7:30 AM. It is about 3 hours 5 minutes by the fastest train. The train tickets cost about 67 euros per person each side. Ticket cost varies from 45 euros to 90 euros depending on the time you book.
Stay in Milan, shop in it's famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and indulge in great Italian fare. But for art and architecture lovers, don't forget to visit the following:
My trip to Lisbon from Milan was originally planned via Brussels, but due to unexpected circumstances, I found myself crossing over all the way from Liege in Wallonia to Ostend-Bruges in Flanders to catch the last seat in the flight to Lisbon. Milan to Brussels to Lisbon became: Milan to Liege + over priced Taxi to train station + Train to North Belgium Ostend-Bruges(with help from a nice friendly local who helped me book the tickets at the station without the intention of scamming me) + Bus to the airport + 2 hour wait with loads of travelers in a little airport. I wont complain much, as not only was I completely refunded for my troubles by Brussels Airlines (Taxi fare + Train tickets + bus ticket), they managed to get me at my final destination comforted with a seat in business class in TAP Airlines (Portuguese Airlines). Travel Blog Confession: Sold to Portugal after business class upgrade My first ever Business class trip after literally covering not just a country but en entire continent. Let me explain my complex trip to Portugal. Milan to Liege (Economic Class Air) Liege Airport to Train station (Taxi) Liege Train station to Ostende Bruge city (Train) Ostende Bruge Train station to Airport (Bus) Ostende Bruge Airport to Lisbon (Upgraded to Business Class Air) Starting from the land where they speak Italian to the land of French speaking Belgium. Next, a train to the Dutch speaking part of Belgium to only end up being spoilt by the best of Portuguese air hospitality. The crew of TAP airlines were obliged to treat me special as a Business class passenger. I wonder if they knew that I was upgraded by the awesome staff in Flanders Ostende Airport. They really did their best that busy day. The funny thing that day was me even attempting a maverick journey like that to travel all across Belgium to catch a flight in time. Vasco Da Gama would be proud of my Travels Vasco Da Gama traveled south reaching below the cape of good hope in South Africa before he reached north east of Africa and then to South India while taking help of the ruler of Malindi (present day Kenya) and the great Arab navigator Ahmed Ibn Majid, to show the explorers the route to India. Mean while , I found myself reaching Liege and taking the help of a cool Arab Taxi driver who helped me quite a bit in realizing that Ostend- Bruges was actually all across the other end of the country and that it would be better and cheaper if I juts took the train from the train station. He did that speaking in French to some one who has a real tough time saying Bonjour and always prefers to say Ciao with a wink. He did try to over price me though and but was quite easily prepared to bring down the amount upon me bargaining like a typical Indian. Our conversation reminiscent of conversation between the great explorers, navigators and sea faring merchants of that time who would often hang around India, Indonesia, Persian gulf or across the sandy beaches of east Africa. A trip to the National Museum in Rome would enlighten me of the historical Roman trade with many Indian ports and beyond that was thriving until the demise of the great empire. Landing in Portugal on a busy weekend night Lisbon had great vibes. I love coastal cities, they are always special. Maybe the influx of people over ages brings all the coolest people over to a coastal port city. Wading through the busy evening streets, we find ourselves in a little street with history written all over it. Our Airbnb hostess invites us to climb up 3 storeys on wooden steps that seemed to belong in one of Vasco Da Gama's old ships. I gasped for my breath as I carried our week long luggage across the tiny wooden steps. Had to climb three floors to finally reach our beautiful little Portuguese apartment. Our Airbnb landlady would further entertain us with an introduction to Lisbon city and Portuguese culture. Like a typical coastal nation citizen, she takes out an old paper map. As she reads out some Portuguese names of the areas around, we get interested and take notes. The next day you would find me jumping in joy around the coast. I was absolutely loving my holiday in a country which helped make Goa fun. Lisbon fever: Love at first sight We took the city sightseeing bus service that would play beautiful fado music while educating us about Lisbon. I was awestruck listening about its glorious history on top of the bus. Walking across Lisbon was great fun. Paradise is sunny weather and regular supply of Codfish Cakes (Pasteis de Bacalhau). Do click on the link to the have a glimpse of this Portuguese delight. I had actually tried it at this very place on the link. The perfect brown fish cutlet is filled with melted cheese and has to be eaten with care. You fall in love instantaneously with Lisbon, while sipping wine on a disposable "I Love Lisbon" wine glass at the Torre de Belem. Strolling across the Bairro Alto or the upper neighborhood/district, you can find the best food at the best price. Just make sure to avoid the tourist traps. By tourist traps, I refer to those unscrupulous businesses that exist all around the world. Usually near the perpetual tourist attractions. Intending to only benefit from a location but not to deliver in terms of value. The rent could be high or the motivation to meet a threshold to have customers may be low. Soon we would find the best places as we dine with old friends in Lisbon. Later we would eat the best frango and wine near the train station at faro completely based on a intuitive hunch. Not always do you enter a place to be completely blown away with the service, quality and value. I discovered loads of trattoria in Italy where you can end up having a really good meal at lunch time at a great price.
324 Kms from Iseo
When it comes to visiting the #DeutchLand, most of the people will suggest you visit during #OctoberFest or during #Chri...
When it comes to visiting the #DeutchLand, most of the people will suggest you visit during #OctoberFest or during #ChristmasMarket season.Unfortunately, i planned in such a hurry that my travel dates sit exactly on the calendar in between these events. I was kind of worried if this trip is not going to be as good as I was expecting :( Let's find out together how it went ;) Germany offers so many things to see and experience, especially Munich is one of the places where every individual will find his happy place. Therefore I decided to pick this place adding a new page in my travel book.
Home to one of the most iconic football clubs in the world – Bayern Munich. Their home stadium, Allianz Arena, complements their stature perfectly. What obviously helps is that Munich is also the venue of Oktoberfest.Famous footballers to have played here: Oliver Kahn, Manuel Neuer, Phillip Lahm, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller.Things to do apart from football: Visit the regal Nymphenburg Palace. Go beer-tasting at Englischer Garten.Average expenditure per day per head: Rs. 4,000Book the best hotels.Read more about the city.
Although the best time to visit Munich is obviously October (thanks to the Oktoberfest), the German capital never fails to amaze during other months either. There is obviously no dearth of beer anywhere; just go sit at any roadside pub and your day is made. But it's really the quintessential German vibe that engulfs and makes you ask for more.Must do while here: Visit the Englischer Garten for a taste of the variety of beers in a garden?. Watch Bayern Munich play at the Emirates Stadium.Average cost per day per head (excluding flights): Rs. 4,500Best Hotels.Read more about Munich.
BAYERISCHER HOF, MUNICHFrom Charlie Chaplin to BB King, the iconic Bayerisch Hof has been host to some remarkable celebrities since 1841. A timeless benchmark of sophistication, its Presidential Suite 032 (US$4,470 upwards per night) is our classic favourite with a private elvator and butler service. Book the Luxury Weekend Package (two nights and three days, US$1,154 upwards; available now through November) for a Moët & Chandon champagne on arrival, breakfast buffets in the roof garden, and other delightful perks. bayerischerhof.de
Hailed as the beer-capital of the world, Munich has always attracted the crowds on accounts of Bavarian brewing skills, especially during Oktoberfest when (seemingly) the entire continent, if not most of the western world comes down to participate in the annual celebration of Bavarian pride. There's much more to Munich than the city's approach to beer and word seems to be getting around.Getting around in MunichCycles are pretty mainstream, as is the case with most of Germany, although renting one is not as easy as in Berlin. The U/S-Bahn and tram network will take you pretty much anywhere. A day ticket costs €6.40, but if you are staying longer, the 3-day ticket costs €16.
Having arrived in Munich on the very first day with the lovely weather on my side it was time to soak up the city culture in me. Making my way to Marienplatz the main city square and also the heart of this Bavarian land I could already get the city vibes the German Way. Strolling along this impressive 100-meter-long-gothic building, I was determined to spend my evening effortlessly here feasting in some of the most indigenous German houses.
And that was definitely one thing on my list to tick off and what best when you are so frenzied with your 6 months round the clock work routine. As I started to plan my itinerary all I knew was I want to be far away from pre-packaged experiences that tourists exchange money for. I wanted to consume experiences engaging with the local culture. So I booked myself on a much-deserved Euro trip to Germany! Germany has been long known to everyone for a plethora of beer offerings running from late September to the first weekend in October. Moving away from the touristy places and beer tents I was looking for experiencing the Oktoberfest in a local away. However when I was booking myself for a spree to this Bavarian land, I was glad to have collated these must have on your list to experience some of the best beer experiences.
The world's largest folk festival - the Oktoberfest officially started yesterday with the tapping of the first barrel of beer by the mayor of Munich.
How to reach: We booked Euroline bus from Prague to Munich. Do not miss the countryside view on your bus journey. Place to stay: Wombats City Hostel (centrally located) Places to visit: Marienplatz (famous christmas market), Munich Residence, BMW Museum,Englischer Garden, Beer Halls & Beer gardens, Allianz Arena, Theresienwiese (place where Oktoberfest is held), Olympic Village, Deutsches Museum Cheap Eats: In munich you will find proper Indian cuisine restaurants (incase you are tired of eating cold sandwiches and sausages) or kebab corners. Sausages accompanied with French fries. Must try Augustiner Keller (must try mixed sausages with mash potatos, Hofbräuhaus (the most famous beer hall). Retail Therapy: Kaufingerstrasse (located between Karlsplatz & Marienplatz) is one of Europe's premier shopping streets, Galeria Kaufhof. Tips:Whole of germany is shut from 24th dec 2:00 pm till 26th dec. You'll find hardly any places to shop or eat so before you to go any place please check if it is open or not. Also, many beer gardens are shut during winters as they have outdoor sitting. However, chinese garden the most famour beer garden located at Englischer garden.
193 Kms from Iseo
6. A walk through the land that created Parmesan
My last destination within Italy was Venice, and I wanted do a brief pit stop somewhere before getting there. So bidding Florence goodbye, I headed for Bologna. Bologna is quite close to Florence and is well connected by train. It was Christmas eve and I didn't have elaborate plans, and Bologna seemed perfect.I lazily walked down the streets and walked into the cathedrals before reaching the foot of the Two Towers - Asinelli and Garisenda. It was quite surprising to learn that the Tower of Asinelli was the tallest leaning tower in Italy, much taller than the tower of Pisa (97 meters as compared to 56 meters).
The next morning, before leaving for Venice, I walked down to the University of Bologna - the oldest university of the world. Its alumni include Copernicus, Malfighi, Galvani, Marconi, Enzo Ferrari and had Dante Alighieri among others, as faculty.
255 Kms from Iseo
Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland, with beautiful Lake Zürich and many other architectural wonders. Fifa World...
Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland, with beautiful Lake Zürich and many other architectural wonders. Fifa World Museum is located right here for football fans. I rather chose to scroll through Toy Museum. If you want to see how toys looked like 300 years ago, just spare some time for it. Quite fascinated with these preserves I decided to pay a visit to a church nearby, and the architecture and carvings were marvellous.
Day 7: Next day we moved to Zurich as next we had early morning flight for Mumbai from Zurich Airport. So, in short we had only few hours to explore Zurich .After hotel check-in we left for Rhine Falls, the biggest waterfall in Europe.The view was mesmerizing. Bought some chocolates and souvenirs there and left for Zurich old market. We reached bit late as all shops get closed by 7 in the evening. Enjoyed coffee and evening life of Zurich.Roamed around the streets,cafe and market with closed shops :( by the lake side. After sunset reached back to Hotel, had dinner and did packing as we were suppose to leave early morning to catch our flight.
This exciting city should be at the center of every Swiss Itinerary. Its suave views, glittering skyscapers and art galleries adhere well to the Swiss standards. The city, crowned by the Alps, won't let you off without some great memories.
3 | Geneva + Interlaken + LUCERNE + ZurichArrival in French-styled Geneva, seated on Europe’s largest glacier lake, visitors are immediately struck by the clarity of the crystal clear waters. The lingering Alps reflected brightly off the lake while Geneva vies as one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities. Move on to Interlaken and Lucerne for everything from hiking in the Alps, ski diving to chocolate tasting. Ideal for outdoor and photography lovers. By train, Geneva to Interlaken: 4hr 30 min then Interlaken by way of Lucerne to Zurich: 2 hr 46 min.
19:00 h. Zurich – Dinner in the restaurant of your choice. Transfer to hotel about 22 hrs.Total distance: 690 kmScenery: Lakes and mountains in Switzerland. Note: We enter France, remember to have your passport ready.07:30 h. – Zurich – Departure.09:00 h. – Berna – Arrival-. Free time in the Swiss capital which has an attractive historical centre with the appearance of a “large village”. We will visit the Federal Council Square, the Cathedral and the Clock Tower, and see the city’s statues and fountains.11:00 h. – Berne – Departure-. View of Neuchatel Lake. We cross the Free Country amidst beautiful scenery. After crossing the French border we will stop for dinner in a service area.
248 Kms from Iseo
Florence (5 days)One of our favourite cities on the trip. It was so beautiful, quaint, and filled with yummy food!...
It was the time to board the last train for Florence and we came back to the BnB we have booked . It was one of the most beautiful stays we had in Europe. Situated in the main city easily connected by public transport A beautifully decorated house by Hosted by Mario & Beatrice.
Food and wine, and everything fine – Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance Movement. Hence, there is no dearth of world-class art, history and tradition in this little town. Its narrow cobbled pathways are reminiscent of romantic Italian movies of the yore, and are perfect for aimless evening strolls with your loved one. Don't be surprised if you come across architectural masterpieces around every corner though, the town is replete with medieval chapels and museums all over. Florence is also famous for its hyper-stylish indigenous fashion being the hometown of world-renowned designers such as Guccio Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo, you'd find family-run boutiques everywhere.Free things to do while here: San Miniato Al Monte is an eerie but gorgeous church about Piazzale Michelangelo which you should visit. Take a stroll at Piazza Della Signoria and enjoy the collection of sculptures in the arcade nearby; there are also plenty of great roadside restaurants where you can sit and people-watch. However ridiculous it may sound, but you can also take a free walking tour of Florence; many guides just want to share their adoration of the gorgeous city with others and hence organise walking tours without charging anything.Where to eat: Here are the three cheap but outstanding places to eat in Florence: 1. SandwiChic at Via San Gallo, 2. Panini Toscani at Piazza del Duomo, 3. I' Girone De' Ghiotti at Via dei Cimatori. All three serve vegetarian food as well.Where to stay: What makes Florence a must-visit is its gorgeous yet affordable stays. Here is one fantastic option.
3. A bread, bean and biscotti feast in FlorenceEvery turn in Florence will greet you with people feasting on bread and bean soup, and the mandatory Chianti wine.Eating Italy's food tour starts from Oltrarno, Italy's answer to Paris' Left Bank. Take delight in the region's Bohemian vibe, abuzz with students and artists in hipster cafes and an all-round vibrant culture. The tour is bound to give away a number of local food and restaurant secrets. Among the multitude of food and wine tastings, you'll also learn to make Italian cantucci (biscotti), sample locally made fennel salami or Finocchiona, Tuscan cheeses and crostinis, and stop at an authentic Italian trattoria (restaurant) for steaming hot soups. Don't leave before having Florence’s famous steak, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, and of course, end the tour with gelato.
(b) When one talks of language barrier, Italy is the first point of reference and in Italy also, the Tuscany Region ranks number 1. Having said that, our maximum encounters with 'Humans of Europe' happened in Tuscany. One such was at a Farmer's market. My mother who is a local food enthusiast, on her own visited the Farmer's Market in Florence and returned with a bag full of local herbs, cheese and fruits. When we asked her how did you communicate with the Farmers (they only speak Italian and Spanish), she matter of fact replied 'With actions'. Also has learnt the recipe of local ravioli just through ACTIONS. The Italian farmers and my mother synced in so well that we had a dinner invite from a local farmer family and mother made made 'Dal Makhani' for them. The food at the dinner was what #foodgasm hashtag is for. The farmer's son who knew English, translated our conversation for them and their conversation for us. At the end, I felt as if I was sitting amongst my big, fat family from Punjab, giggling and laughing away to glory.
The homesickness eventually vanished as I travelled to the other cities. Florence was my next stop, which is a lovely town just four hours away from Rome by train. The hostel here was more like an inn that I booked through AirBNB. I made friends with guys from London and South Africa and am still in touch with them. It is amazing for slightly shy people like me that while travelling alone you are open to striking conversations and getting to know people, but when you have company, you are so comfortable with your companion that you don’t really want to make the extra effort of talking to strangers. Meeting new people transforms your worldview and makes you a totally different person. You no more want to dwell over the petty issues of life, which restricts you from doing so many wonderful things. Moving on, Florence was exceptionally beautiful and well-designed. I did not really spend any time standing in mind numbing queues to see any of the architectural marvels, but spent the days exploring the different parts of the city, climbing hills, and going to nearby villages. Florence falls in the Tuscan region, which is famous for its wineries. I would recommend to pre-book a tour to one of the wineries for a more authentic experience.
Day 09-10: Check out of Hotel Deko Rome. Take train from Rome to Florence. Check in Hotel Lungarno in FlorenceThe best way to see Rome and Florence is on foot. Walk through the myriad lanes and by-lanes, relive the medieval times and and savour the city. Visit colosseum, pantheon, Trevi, hand of truth, Duomo, academia to see David whatever you like; have delicious cheesecake at Babingtons (the best till date); get a caricature/portrait done; do some shopping - leather bags/gloves/belts/masks/perfumes etc.Reserve a day for Vatican, I liked St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican more than Sistine chapel. Make sure to book tickets in advance for Vatican, Colosseum, academia in Florence, Uffizi. Read up a bit on Christianity if u want to enjoy more. Listen to the music artists while watching sunset at one of the bridges in Florence; have Gelato at Vivoli. Cafe dell'oro serves great pasta.