Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ally's Arrival

On Friday the 13th of June, Ally was daring enough to hop on a plane and come visit Anne, Sandy and I in London. The time leading up to her arrival was much anticipated and fairly stressful while trying to figure out what we were going to do while she was here. After much deliberation, we had our route mapped out: starting in Milan to Bologna, Florence, Nice, Paris and back to London.

On Friday, I went to the airport to meet Ally after her arrival and we took the Tube back to Anne's. My goal was to keep Ally wake as long as possible, since she lost six hours on the flight over, in an attempt to help her jet lag. We went for a walk through Hyde Park, checked out Harrod's and went to the Victoria and Albert museum to fill the afternoon. Surprisingly, Ally stayed up for a late dinner and finally crashed around midnight.

Saturday was the start of our trip along with Anne and Sandy's vacation. They flew out a few hours earlier than us and were headed to Barcelona, Spain while we flew to Milan, Italy. Our plane arrived around eight and we were able to find our way to the hotel after some confusion from a locals directions. We work up early and headed downtown to the train station to activate Ally's eurail pass and make do some short sightseeing. Milan is a pretty industrialized city that thrives on its world fashion industry which was exactly what Ally was looking for. There were many high end shops that Ally enjoyed window shopping at from the outside.

We boarded our train to Bologna.....yes, like the sandwich meat. With no idea how the city was pronounced, Anne advised us to just say "eh" at the end of every sentence and act like we were Canadians because they are more easily forgiven than Americans. Bologna was a neat town with piazza's and porticos filling this well preserved medieval city. We were able to visit many of Bologna's numerous important churches, including basilica of San Petronio. San Petronio was intended to be built larger than St. Peter's in Vatican City but the Pope altered its design, causing it to remain smaller. The church is still very massive and one of the biggest in the world.

After wandering around the city for the afternoon and a filling dinner, we made our way back to our charming hotel for some sleep before we boarded another train.

Next post, Ally and I head to Florence.

Take care.

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