After drinking our share of German beer and Pretzels we headed south to Milan again to catch up with a friend and hopefully find some nice weather. We achieved the former in seeing my host brother from eight years ago who is now working on his PHD at a university in Milan. He took us to an awesome little bar that serves buffet finger food with cocktails and we caught up on the better part of a decade. The nice weather was unfortunately a no go and we were faced with days of pouring rain, thunder and not a whole lot to do. Having been pretty sick for the previous five weeks I used this lull in activity to finally see a doctor. GP visit = €100 just to be told it was IBS.... awesome.
It wasn't all bad though and after loading up on pills we set out to conquer Gardaland Theme Park over two days. The park is only 90 minutes from the city by train and looks over, would you believe, Lake Garda. It's the third biggest park in Europe with 5 roller coasters and more than enough to keep us busy for 48 hours. They have this amazing ride called Raptor where you are seated to the side of the actual track - a little bit like flying. It happened to rain on and off both days and the normally crazy lines were non existent. We literally asked if we could stay on Raptor until more people came and the guys operating it just let us go around and around. Think one minute wait times for roller coasters and no line at all for the other rides. There were still thousands of people in the park it's just designed to cope with a whole lot more evidently.
Between the two of us we clocked nearly 40 roller coaster rides and hit every single attraction in the park at least once - including train rides and the tea cups for good measure. I would highly recommend the place especially in the rain. Europeans don't like rain. Everything was going smashingly until we tried to get back to Milan the second night. We were half an hour into our journey when we were stopped at a station alongside an abnormally high number of other trains. The tracks had been closed to all trains indefinitely due to an accident further up. It was four hours and a whole lot of confusion before we made it back to the city. To add insult to injury everything was closed and we missed dinner. As an aside we have already been given a loyalty card for the pizza/kebab place down the block, apparently we go there a lot.
Not a terribly busy week but we have somehow acquired another ice axe to add to our gear. We may need it looking at the weather in Norway in a fortnight.
Rachael and Jeremy