I’m not the greatest flyer, my ears are too sensitive and hurt a fair amount each flight, but I love visiting other countries so I’ve got to grin and bear it. So flying alone isnt that fun as I’ve nobody to moan at, I could of moaned at the Japanese couple next to me on the plane, but I don’t think they spoke a word of English, but they didn’t even speak a word to each other the whole time so I could be mistaken.
At arrival at Milan Malpensa airport the Manchester passengers were swallowed up by a huge crowd of Americans straight from a Newark flight, so being the sheep I am just aimlessly followed the crowds, I only noticed that I’d got to the wrong baggage carousel when there was a slight aroma of insanity and far too many examples of the ‘stars and stripes’ everywhere. Luckily the right carousel was the next one, so I wasn’t too far gone. My trip hadn’t gone off to such a bad start after all. (Aside from the fact I was deaf from the plane, haha!)
After a coach to the centre of milan (which I rather embarrassingly fell asleep on) I met up with my new family. Well just the parents, who kindly offered to take me to see the Duomo, Milans most famous landmark. I’m a sucker for a cathedral so I was made up, snapping away on my Nikon like the true tourist I am!
After a very short stint at the Duomo we went to get lunch from a local bakery - with queues right the way up the street. I was presented with a ‘panzerotti’ Milans speciality dish, which was literally a giant sugarless donut filled with cheese and ham. Strange, nice and unbelievably filling.
Then came the shopping, I know you cant go to Milan and not shop, but I was tired, hot and poor, not at all in the mood for shopping, but I did nearly have to be dragged away from the Alexander McQueen shop, I spied a Jimmy Choo shop down the way too, thank goodness i didn’t find a Christian Louboutin shop or I’d of been in trouble!
After a 2hour car journey (in a rather lovely car may I add) we arrived at a house, and I knew after some previous extensive googling of the area I would be staying in, this was not it. We met our dog Fuego, a massive Doberman and got snuggled by a kitten we went inside this very old, very dated very big and very religious old house, it was the parents of Bianca, the mother I am staying withs house.
I was given a room, and my suitcase. After the probable obvious look of bewilderment on my face she explained that we were staying there that night and driving the final hour or so to Livigno in the morning. “But first we must go to the supermarket, then climb a mountain.” Yes, just like that. “you best change your shoes” so i did, and bloody hell…. We nipped to the supermarket where I was rather pleased with my grasp of knowing what items where. I thank my GCSE Spanish and that bit of German I know for that. Then headed to the mountain…
The base of it was only round the corner but we traveled 50 minutes up by car round these very narrow / sheer drop to the side kind of roads. I was clinging on to the car for dear life - not that it would of done any good if the car was to fall. Then, we ran out of road so we left the cars and climbed and trekked the 35/40 mins up the rest of the way. I was nearly dead by the end, after being up at 3am, took a flight, a coach ride, walked round boiling Milan and another 3hrs by car then a MOUNTAIN CLIMB!! I was well and truly knackered by the end.
But when we reached the top it was all worth it. Sat near the top of the mountain was a tiny stone cottage with the most incredible views of the surrounding towns - and the other mountains. It was breathtaking. (which was an issue as I was already out of breath from the climb.)
There was two children running around, one of which was Leonardo the little boy I am here to look after, he was pretty shy at first, but soon got excited to show me what was in the box he was clinging to.
Live crickets! big green Jiminy style ones. He reached in and grabbed one by the leg holding it up to show me. I tried to not be alarmed by the wriggling cricket far too close to my face - as that could lead to more insects to freak me out.
Soon Bianca’s mother was ushering us inside as she had prepared dinner. Dinner of hand made pasta may I add. Pasta, meats and cheeses. Proper Italian meal, Made by a proper Italian woman and eaten by a proper Italian family (and me) all around the table, 9 of us chatting very loudly, eating huge amounts and drinking wine and coffee - very stereotypical, but wonderful! I was grinning at this strange spectacle that I was glad to be a part of.
After several hours in the old cottage (including a power cut) we set off back down the mountain, just as it was getting dark. ‘Genius idea.’ Half way down this deathly steep walk it goes pitch black, and I mean pitch black! Few lights off our phones helped us the rest of the way. Scary times, but we made it to the car and back to the house for a much needed snooze.
The next morning we set off for Livigno. In two cars, 1st car the man and his dog, the 2nd the women and the baby - again, stereotypical eh? haha.
To get to Livigno you need to travel through Switzerland, which I was so excited about. Woo another country! We needed to show our passports and everything! It was beautiful in the whole 40 mins we spent there, beautiful mountains and a big lake. The smell of chocolate and cheese in the air - ok that was a little fictitious but the rest was true.
I was taken aback when we arrived in Livigno, it was so pretty, so cute and it didn’t look like a real place, looked like a cartoon almost. That isn’t the best way to explain it, but that is all you are getting from this sleepy brain.
Our house is lovely! It is 2 floors above a shop (owned by Tiziano Leo’s father) and I have the top floor all to myself! My bedroom and my own bathroom! scrummy! And a balcony with the most wonderful views of the mountains.
I want a balcony and my own bathroom always. I will get far to used to this and I will never want to leave.
We had Pasta for lunch (again - they REALLY do love pasta here) And Pizza for dinner! “Mamma Mia!” - they really do say that too! :P
I went with Tiziano to take Leo to Kindergarten, which was MASSIVE and really lovely, then I had some time to myself. I unpacked and did all the other boring stuff.
I looked after Leo for the first time when he came home, 2 hours, just the two if us, I hadn’t bargained for him to lose concentration so quickly, so all my tasks were sped through very fast, the opening of the presents I gave him, + 10 minutes of playing with the Toy Story slinky dog I brought, reading a story, him shooting me with a light up bubble gun, me dying repeatedly, reading another story, playing fighting animals, games on my iPad, playing tractor, playing builder, football and then eventually I put Lion King 2 on my iPad and he settled then until his parents came home. phew!
It was a good very tiring day, seeing and doing a lot of things. I went to bed pretty early and crashed out. I did have a VERY strange dream too!
Now, until tomorrow!