Friday, May 18, 2012

The Grand Tour, Part 7: On to Milan!

We are now several days out from Geneva, but still surrounded by mountains. Every turn of the road brings new sights to amaze us. The narrow stone bridges spanning the many creeks and freshets were built by Romans! We stop at Evian for some of its famous mineral waters. We follow a path cut through stone two hundred feet high. We stop to marvel at the waterfall called Pissevache, gushing out of the rock, falling a hundred feet, and enveloped in a mighty rainbow.

We shiver through the Glacier Grotto, with snow piled up as high as the carriage on one side. We gasp at the Cascade of Frissione, so high that the water is merely mist by the time it reaches the foaming pool at the base.

Finally, we tumble down into a sweep of cultivated plain, dotted with acacia and tulip trees and mulberries, as we approach Milan. And there is the Triumphal Arch, designed by Napoleon, with four huge columns each cut from a single block of marble.

Milan has more than 130,000 people in it, so it feels very crowded and not a little dirty after the pristine snows of the mountains. But some of us are absolutely parched for new company after being huddled in our carriages for over a week. Then too, we know that even more wondrous sights lay ahead. We stay in Milan long enough to see some amazing paintings and some of the finest ancient statues in Italy in the Palace of Arts and Sciences. And we must stop at the Ambrosian Library (photo courtesy of Elekhh on Wikimedia Commons), which contains original manuscripts by Leonardo da Vinci and a copy of his Last Supper.

Phew! I don’t know about you, but I could use a good night sleep before we head deeper into Italy.


QNPoohBear said...

I'd rather stay in the mountains than visit Milan but I am looking forward to visiting the New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala this evening.

(I'm enjoying the visuals since I've read several 19th century diary accounts of tours through Europe and Northern Africa).

Regina Scott said...

I agree, QNPoohBear! I love that crisp air, those lofty vistas! Oh, but an evening at the theatre sounds lovely too!