On our way to Milan...
In order to get to Milan we had to go through Switzerland and have to cross the Mount Blanc (White Summit). The Mont Blanc is Western Europe's highest peak 4,807 meters. When we got there the Mont Blanc tunnel was closed due to a catastrophic fire that killed 40 people. Since the tunnel was closed we had to take an alternate route which is, we had to drive up the Mount Blanc. It took us about an hour to get to the summit, the road was so tiny and winding, we had to really slowed down each time we saw another car coming from the other direction (there was only enough room for 2 small cars on this road and we had a huge van). The scariest part was, there was not any divider on the side so we had the impression we could fall off the cliff at any time. And from time to time we would see a sign paying respect to people you got kill on this road (not a very comforting sight!) . Fortunately, we made it!!!! I am never gonna take this ride again...
Street of Milan leading to the Cathedral which is way, way in the back ground.
The world's first shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, was built in Milan, Italy in 1878. This Galleria was built before electricity, before cars, and before air conditioning. Even without those modern conveniences, Milan shoppers in 1878 enjoyed the Galleria's convenience and community in the same ways you enjoy your shopping mall.
The Galleria helped Milan become a fashion capital by attracting designer shops and stylish women to its protected arcade. The other cool thing is the Galleria is located in front of the Duomo (Cathedral-picture seen below) and the world’s most prestigious Opera house, La Scala.
The most striking feature of the city is this large, white-marble cathedral(1386–1813), which shows traces of many styles (especially Gothic). It is elaborately ornamented with 135 pinnacles and more than 200 marble statues. A statue of the Madonna is on the highest pinnacle (354 ft/108m). It took over 400 years to complete this cathedral which is not an unusual thing.
The Cathedral is right now still under repair as you can see on this picture...(buldozer)
Me and the pigeons in front of the cathedral.. The pigeons are fearless, they will come and rest on your head, shoulder etc.... I got a little scare when four or five pigeons were resting on my arms and I could feel their feet moving on my skin.
A quick tip and advice.. I did not really want to feed the pigeons but this is what happened: When we walked out to the Plaza, we saw a bunch of hustlers accosting us to buy the food for the pigeons. We said "no" but they insisted and said "free. free" and proceed to put a few grains into my hands. Even though I said "No" they keep on shoving the food into my palm. So I started to throw them on the floor for the pigeons. I got excited when the pigeons started to come around me and the guy keep giving more and more food. I am still thinking it is free...By the time, Hoa is done with the pictures, the guy demanded us to pay him money. We were just shocked! but you said "Free", Then, he gestured for his friends to circle Hoa and Anh Hung and keep asking for money.. since we did not understand Italian and there is no way we could argue, we decide to pay. I think Anh Hung gave him 5 bucks or something like that. So beware!
Next Stop... VENICE