Travel Journal Entry #8: Ciao, Milan

After spending over the normal budget in Switzerland I was keen on traveling to the wineyard of Europe, Italy. Our first stop took us to the glamorous city of Milan. 

Truthfully I believe one gains a more truthful picture about the city one travels in when you are not spending nights in four/five star hotels that only show you the surface of the city. The image the ad companies have spent millions to build for the business we call tourism.

Our lodgins this time were at a three star hotel in the Citta Studi-district (Cìtta Study means city of studies) which holds the most of scientific branch buildings from the university of Milan. One could think the district would be a urban student aparment-area but not really. The scenery there gave a lot of mixed feelings.

Every facade smudged with shitty graffitis.

I am not sure what happened here, but the ambience of the district was rather getto-ish and every single small shop was barred up with steel doors as if they had gone bankrupt. I noticed that the neigbourhood had also tram-tracks built but now they were deserted. Economic downfall? 

Without making any second-guesses we left our luggage and went to scavenge late dinner. Luckily we found a restaurant and got our first taste of italian pizza. Absolutely delicious. Not even kidding, our mouths watered for pizza again the next day.

Grade A italian proscioutto crudo pizzas.

The next day we headed to the center of Milan to scout the majority of attractions. The Duomo church of Milan was absolute masterpiece with the delicate white stonework. The plaza was crowded with tourists, tourist scammers and of course a lot of local law enforcement. 

Duomo Di Milan.

From the church we turned our heads lefr and went to wonder the arhictecture of Galleria Vittoriono Emanuele II, a grand ol’ shopping centre. The floor decoration there alone must’ve took years to build. Expensive fashion brands like Versace were highly represented in the shopping centre and the restaurants were top notch quality. If you have the money..this is the place.

From walls to the ceiling, decorative and expensive.

One more attraction I must mention is the Arco Della Pace, the arc of Peace. It reminded me of good times in Paris as we were hanging out near the Arc De Triumph and eating icecream. Arco Della Pace was built in 1807 under the Napoleonic rule and road from it connects Milan to Paris through the Alps. Neat huh?

Arco Della Pace.
There would be a lot more to be told about Milan but I have to leave some stories to be told face to face. Feel free to ask me when you see me! Tomorrow we will travel to Firenze, can’t wait! Hope you have a great night!
– George

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Travel Journal Entry #5: Bonjour, Paris


As Brussels did not leave such a great memory in my mind, I was keen on traveling to Paris. We have seen now second class train couches from three different countries (Germany, Amsterdam and Belgium) and god damn the train was sweet this time from Brussels to Paris. 

Even though one has purchased interrail-ticket it does not mean that additional charges do not apply depending on the country you are traveling to/from. Belgium, France and Switzerland at least in our experience are countries which demand mandatory seat reservations. 

This means you have to pay from 9,00 EUR to 35,00 EUR additional to get on the train. We had to pay 20,00 EUR each this time to get our seats. However there is a plus side to mandatory seat reservation as you don’t have to change seats during the train ride (if someone has reserved the seat you’re sitting in, you have to move to somewhere else) which can bothersome if the coach is full.

The train from Brussels to Paris was operated by company Thalys which is known for international high-speed trains. The seats were large and comfy, we got a sweet durable folding table and charger-slots for mobile phones. Best train we’ve seen so far! Probably explains the higher seat reservation charge.

We reached Paris in two hours and the train station was buzzing with people! To keep up with our travel plan, we went straight ahead to book seats to our train to Bern, Switzerland next week. Then off to our hotel to take a small rest and make plans for the first evening in Paris.

We booked a two star hotel for four nights in the Luxembourg-region in Paris, as it was close to church of Notre Dame. The rate per night was also ridiculously cheap. Roughly 500 meters and there it was, Notre Dame! 

Notre Dame + tourists. Photoshoot 247.

After witnessing Notre Dame from all possible sides we went for a dinner and found a pretty swell indian restaurant. Korma chicken and naan bread never disappoints a hungry traveller.

Next morning started with a lengthy stroll through the Luxembourg Park which was built by the Medici family. The park was simply breathtaking due to the variety of plants and trees. In the middle of the park was also a enormous water fountain where the kids could steer toy boats. The air in the park was so fresh and really woke us up! 

Panorama picture of Luxembourg Park.

The exploration day continued with the French version of Pantheon. Basically the french people wanted to have a Pantheon that would outshine the one in Rome. So the architect Soufflot was given free hands and the result was le magnifique. The level of detail in the marble carvings were incredible. I have to compare this Pantheon to the original one when we get to Rome.

Pantheon, Paris version.

To top the day off we decided to head to the Louvre museum and check out the surroundings. There were so many people trying to imitate the Pisa-leaning-picture with the Louvre triangle. Ughh. Get creative people. In the end we decided to mess with the people and shoot photos where my friend was holding the tourists by their head while they were holding Louvre. Enticing.

Louvre. The place where Mona Lisa hides.

The kilometer counter after these local Paris attractions was already over five kilometers and our legs started to send signals to relax, so we headed to hotel and did just that. 

Tomorrow we have a date with the big F tower so I am sleeping like a baby tonight. Have a great one and see you later!

– George

Vanity Card #46 – The Pursuit of New Reneissance

The older I grow, the more and the merrier I acknowledge the fact that the media and our western culture pushes our understanding of the good life to the brink of personal bankruptcy.

46PursuitOfnewRenessaince

The older I grow, the more and the merrier I acknowledge the fact that the media and our western culture pushes our understanding of the good life to the brink of personal bankruptcy.

Our generation (I am talking about the last generation that escaped the womb to experience first hand the joy of Tamagotchi’s, Super Mario and the hair-craze flat iron) was the last victim of the values that were hardened on us when we were little, taught when the world was wearing a sundress  – thrilling us to believe that honest hard work, long office hours, family of five kids accompanied by a dog was all the marital bliss one individual was able to achieve during one lifetime.

Twenty-something years later the same generation finds themselves as a graduate from the long drive through of ECTS credits with a damn fine diploma to bury it away somewhere in the middle of five to ten menial job credentials.

The world lies in ruins, the economy is stripped down to the bare essentials and the most conspiracy-nut jobs talk about inside jobs that were paid posthumously by Steve Jobs to corporate the whole world by giving blowjobs to the Wall-Street executives that bribe cops to kill a fellow worker for just the price of a happy meal.

You might smell a hint of exaggeration between my ramblings but nobody can’t avoid the fact that our society builds upon commercializing everything under the sun and the general public’s highway to have a happy, joyful life is to get a loan or find a loan shark to finance your dream of being in debt for the rest of your life.

I am hardly the last of the Mohicans that tries to hunt traces of freedom from the pursuit of preserved continuity, from the vast legends long told before we were ready to put our suits on and walk into the office closet in the name of prosperity. Back to the roots of the curious minds of the Renaissance.

I want to be free, to think different and capture the world as long as my pulsing heart gives me time.

There is no home like that left- most sanctums have been sold for eight pieces of soul and five days of your week. We treat every philosopher, poor stranger, asylum seeker and a free thinker as the inhumane, jobless husk of a soul not worth a dime for the society. Media directs our attention to Kardashians and the rest of the celebrity gossip. Evolution is still discussed as a theory rather than the force that molds the world we live in.

The quote by Eleanor Roosevelt has never been so true as today:

Great minds discuss ideas; average discuss events; small minds discuss people.

The community keeps baiting both sides into a open conflict, hence the riot claims more lives than spent dollars. Yet I truly believe we are on the edge of another breakthrough of our current society model. We have been riding this train of 1800’s factory worker way too long and the stop is long due. I dream of a better world.

World where we create jobs where they truly exist rather than forcing every individual into a pressurized model that does not fit ones hinges. We are not clay, we are blood, bones and guts.

Unity is assembled from the chess set pieces.

So believe me when I state this – no authority in the modern society should point which cog you should be in the clockwork of the mankind.

Keep tickin’ to your own purpose and dreams before you simply seize to exist.