Arrivando a Italia

Flying Bikes
Originally uploaded by JaseMan.
I arrived in Milano dreary eyed and saggy tailed on Friday morning with a dozen hours separating me from the bus to the hotel in Verbania. I used the time to explore Milano a bit, meet up with Cris and get my Italian pimp phone turned on. I made it back to the airport just in time for my masterful plan to fall apart.

Woody and I originally planned to take the bus, the preferred and only convenient transportation, to Pallanza. MXP management threw a monkey wrench into the plan by shutting down a runway resulting in a two hour delay for arrivals which forced us to rent a car after having missed the bus.

We set off streaking down the road armed with an Avis map and a naive notion that we would be able to make it to Pallanza after a modest drive estimated at a 90 minute duration. Woody rode shotgun and spouted off directions while I piloted our low flying aircraft down the autostrade and tried to stay awake.

We should have realized that our touron cards were about to get stamped. Minimal Italian driving experience between us - mine consisting of driving with the aid of an Italian and a BMW navigation system - resulted in us not realizing that highway numbers listed on the map may not actually correspond to those listed on the road signs. In fact, many highways do not list highway numbers at all or only flash them every 25 kilometers.

The Griswold's Big Ben, Parliament routine ain't got nothing on us. Woody and I were baffled by a "missing" autostrade interchange and ended up going and coming from MXP three times before finally getting things right. We arrived in Pallanza three-and-a-half hours not knowing this would foreshadow most of our upcoming driving experiences.

Fortunately, check-in at Hotel Astor was a breeze, and we passed out for a nap before getting up way too soon.


Trey D said...

Sweet, glad to see you back in Italia. So working downtown in Dallas vs. playing downtown in Milan...bastard.

Julia said...

More stories! More stories!