Day 1 - Wed 27-9-207 Sydney - Bangkok -Siena
At last the trip to ride my restored 50’ Healing Bicycle in the famous L’Eroica bicycle festival in Italy.
The Thai Airways Sydney-Bangkok sector on 747 -400 was comfortable for the 9.5hrs flight. After a short two hr transit in the enormous and modern airport, I caught an overnight 11.5hr flight on a new A390 to Milan.
My plans were to catch up with Mark Weber who is holidaying in Italy and Spain. Immigration processing queue was long- we met later then planned at the large Milan Centrale Station. The Malpensa airport is about 55km out and has a quick train connection.
The original plan was to cycle around Milan as tourists.I think walking was a better option as we headed via Galleria Victor Emmanuel 2 to the majestic Duomo Church. This area is crowded with tourisms. Along the way, we stopped for a coffee and pastry at a standup bar. Italian don’t make very good hot chocolates- it’s usually too thick and no milk.
As Webes had not been to Milano before, I thought he must at least try to get a ticket for the Last Super by Da Vinci. To our surprise, it was sold out for 10 Days, so he got a look at the Church building and a photo outside.
On our walk we went via a waypoint of the original Bianchi bicycle workshop. It has long moved to bigger facilities in Milano, though the building remains and the area is now cafes and restaurants.
Time ran out with my train to leave at 15:20. I picked up my left luggage bicycle, stored for 5 hrs for €6, which seemed a bargain. In another attempt to get a hot chocolate, it was so thick and rich it was not finished. So continues the quest to find a good hot chocolate in Italy.
I bid Webes farewell and will see him In late October. He heads to Spain to walk a section of the Carmino.
The very fast train to Florence was extremely smooth and I marveled as AutoStrada travel seemed to be going 1/3 train speed. We arrived in Florence on time and I ran to make the train connection to Siena. The trip took as long to go 50km the long way round as the 260km just travelled.
For a while I was concerned it was the wrong train as it went a big cycle to go around the hills, though eventually arrived in Siena in time. One observation is the lack of luggage space, especially for a boxed bicycle.
After arriving at Siena Station, it was a steep walk of 1km to the hotel, only to find out later there are escalators starting in the shopping centre.
It was now 36hrs since leaving Sydney. Dinner of pasta was enjoyed at a restaurant through the gates to the old city then welcome rest.
Red, Very Fast & Italian