The Orlyval light rail system is a convenient way to get to Paris’ Orly airport using the metro, but I did get a little confused with which terminal I needed to exit at when I got there. After I was able to resolve that mess, I checked into my British Airways flight to Milan-Malpensa airport. My flight was scheduled for 6:30 PM and would last about an hour and a half, so it would already be dark by the time I landed in Italy.
To be honest, the main reason why I was going to Milan was because the city was hosting the World Expo this year. I went to the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai because I was studying abroad there at the time, so since I was already going to be in Europe during the expo in Milan, I wanted to include it in my trip. In fact, from the Milan part of this EuroTrippin’ series, only this post and the one that follows are not about my time at the expo.
I caught my first preview of the expo at Milan-Malpensa airport, where they had this big statue of a hunter with various game that he had caught (the expo’s theme this year was focused on food). I would end up seeing more statues similar to this when I actually visited the expo site.
Milan-Malpensa airport is actually pretty far from the city of Milan, so I had to take the Malpensa Express train into the city. A one-way ticket was €12 (~$13.11 USD). I exited at Milano Cadorna to cross over to the Cadorna FN subway station and then took the M2 to Lambrate FS, the station closest to my hostel. That ticket cost €1.50 (~$1.64 USD).
For this part of my trip, I was staying at a place called Hostel Colours. The neighborhood it was in appeared kind of shady to me when I arrived, probably because it was already night and there was graffiti everywhere. I think this was the only hostel that I stayed in during my trip in which I felt a little uncomfortable walking back to after dark. On my second night there, there was a couple who was checking in and telling the reception that someone had tried to steal the woman’s bag while they were walking to the hostel. Shady.
The hostel wasn’t as fancy or modern as the other ones that I stayed in, but the staff was nice. Instead of a key card, I got an actual key and had to pay a deposit of €5 in case I lost it. I got a top bunk again, but this time, there wasn’t a curtain to hide behind when I wanted to sleep. I also had to make my own bed when I arrived, so that explains why it looks so messy in the picture (I actually took that picture before I checked out, so it wasn’t this bad the rest of the time). There was an outlet though, so that was a plus.
I unpacked and locked up my stuff before heading into the computer area to look up information about going to the the expo. I also bought a Capri-Sonne from one of the vending machines in the lobby. Everything on the pouch was in German and I actually just learned that CapriSun is a brand owned by a German company. The more you know.
After a certain time, the regular path through the kitchen to my room closes, so I actually had to exit the hostel to re-enter from another door. That was a little inconvenient at times, especially since I didn’t really want to have to go outside so late at night in that area, even though the alternate door was only a few feet away.
When I got back to my room, most of my roommates were already asleep. I knocked out soon enough too. The next day, I would be going to the World Expo, but before that, I decided I would stop by the Milan Cathedral, also known as the Duomo di Milano.