Arrived from Singapore on flight (exactly 12 hours) at 6am. Milan sleeping. Airport customs REALLY slow... Took treni to Milano Centrale Stazione. Our hotel less than five minute walk. Rooms (not available until 12) small but updated. Very helpful staff here. We went for a walk to acquaint ourselves with Milan and decided nothing to right home about although some lovely architecture. Although it was Sunday morning and dead. We ventured out later as it got busier and found that we actually quite liked the place. We were all buggered from travelling so grabbed a nana nap before dinner. We discovered that coffee and light snacks are inexpensive and the coffee is good. Gareth recommended we try an apertivo place in Corso Sempione and it didn't disappoint, The boulevard was quiet when we arrived a little after 6pm but became alive shortly after and by 8pm the whole street and all the eateries were humming. We chose a place offering a pretty good buffet at 11 euros each with first drink included (including cocktails) and it was great. Afterwards it was still very light so we sauntered through Sempione Park before taking an uber back to the hotel for an early night, with a 5:30 wake up looming.
A big day - a 13 hour Bernina Express trip, leaving on a bus from the visitor centre at 7am. Better class of ubers here - 2 Mercs and an F class Jag so far! The trip started with a bus trip of about three hours via Como to Tirano, lunch there and the Bernina Express itself left at 1pm, arriving in St Moritz around 3:30pm. We stopped at Tirano for lunch , there is a beautiful church well worth visiting. St Moritz was pretty much as expected - full of high-end shops and easteries - nothing much else. windy as heck. The return trip was via bus through the Maloja Pass and took around 4 hours - so a long day... The highlight was the train trip. Everything we expected and more. Simply spectacular scenery against a staggering background of huge mountains, beautiful lakes, waterfalls, beautiful little Swiss villages and tree-lined gorges.
Another big day to Lake Como- compounded by the fact that Milan Centrale is a shocking place to find your way around if you're not Italian. Advice given at the ticketing centre by a lady keener to get to her coffee break than dealing with us, wrongly advised us and caused us a bit of a headache finding the correct train. We have found the Milan Metro exceedingly frustrating to use - so much so after the ease of using Singapore's. There is a lack of English signs and most of the staff speak very little English. Regardless, the trip today was very much worth it. The lake is spectacular, dotted with small villages and grand villas as well as up-market hotels. There is a never-ending stream of ferries of all shapes and sizes plying the waters yet surprisingly few pleasure craft or yachts which we found incongruous - could have been because it was a week day? Como itself was beautiful but even its beauty was outdone by Bellagio's. Both towns have unique characters and charming narrow streets abuzz with retailers and eateries, sheer beauty. A must-do if you are in Milan, we all thought it was fantastic and so glad we did it.