Yes, I’ve travelled the seven seas – at least metaphorically – but only recently I visited Athens for the first time. This is ironic since basically all of Greece is located on the seaside. With 13,676 kilometers of coastline – that’s roughly the little something of 8,498 miles – and 3054 islands and islets, Poseidon definitely is boss.
Not the only amazing facts. Next to Golgota and the Capitol, the Acropolis is one of the hills on which Europe was founded. So there is no excuse that I haven’t visited the cradle of our civilization before.
So as we got nearer to Christmas and the holy days became holidays, the question of where I would spend them was quickly answered. Athens – for the first time.
At the beginning of my railroad trip, I spent two days in Porto – enough time for a grand tour of the city.
Road trips are my passion. Preferably railroad trips. Buses are fine, too. But trains are classier. There is no legendary Trans Siberian Bus, no illustrious Orient Coach, after all. Nope, legends on wheels are always trains.
And getting to Porto by train undoubtedly keeps the legend alive.
“The sun reflects strongly off the puddles, so don’t forget to put sun protection on your knee pits”, orders Ute pointing at my bare legs as we start walking on water off the shores of Cuxhaven.
I already did, but under her strict eyes, I repeatedly do as I am told. I do everything Ute marshals: The next four hours, she will guide me together with about two dozens other hikers into the tideland off the shore in Cuxhaven. My life will depend on her knowledge and sense of orientation.
We will be sort of walking on water – so I better listen to my leader.
After all, of all Italian cities, Milan probably deems the least Italian. No jolly groups sipping Aperol Spritz while playing boccia. Instead, executives rushing from their stately apartment houses to offices in glittering business centers. Hardly a narrow cobblestone alley. Rather big cars on broad avenues. Few statues around. No renaissance. No baroque.
Nevertheless, if you are prepared for what to expect, Milan will not disappoint you. Therefore, let me guide you to the city’s most important art venues – and beyond.
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