9 hours of sleep...that's how it should be. Woke up feeling great and had 4 hours to kill. First objective: shave.
I have shaved only twice during my 16 days so far and decided today was going to be the third. We picked up a few razors and knew that bringing them on the plane would raise a few flags So I decided to use a couple of razors out of the cheap package of 5 we bought previous. I also learned something...cheap little razors hate my face and my neck. I never knew that. After the constant bleeding on numerous parts of the neck and face I was raring to go! Bring on Prague (again)!
So, Doug and I headed out of the hotel with no real objective other than to head to a plaza and big building we saw on a poster (http://www.incoczech.com/wenceslas-square-prague-museum-bigimage363.jpeg). It was a real pretty street and sure beat the inside of a hotel room but it wasn't much more than a time filler. Eventually we found a vendor on the side of the street to sell us a "chicken hamburger" and "the longest hot dog I've seen" all for the bargain price of just under 200 crowns ($10) and they came with a Coca Cola Light and a fanta. Scrumptous lunch.
Cruising down this fabled street with small rose bushes everywhere, I began to notice that I was entering the shopping district. Seeing my favorite store, H&M (please come to OKC), I quickly took inventory of what I "needed." I actually just bought some necessary items back in Berlin (t-shirts, and a few pairs of some style of underwear which at the moment are kinda uncomfortable) but realized that since I haven't done laundry yet because I've primarily been throwing away socks and white-t's, I only have about one-day's worth of wardrobe left. Ok, so I bought a pair of shorts and some socks. It was a good idea because it also bought me a few days until I have to do laundry...probably wait til Lugano.
With full bellies, new socks and a new pair of shorts which I will ultimately wear for at least four more days, I am set for Milan. Doug and I goof off in a few more stores taking note of the pragueish surroundings and head for the metro. On to the airport!
After I arriving at the airport and parting ways I was *fortunate* enough to catch the end of the Chile vs. France futbol game before my flight (yipee) then boarded my easyjet plane to Milan to begin my voyage alone.
My first stop upon arriving in Milan was to go back to the coveted Duomo that I love and actually have a poster of it in my apartment. Amazing. All marble and gothic as can be.
From there I set off to get some grubb and settled on a pizza place (how Italian of me) and had a 4 formaggio and Heinekin.
Now to meet my couchsurfer, Claudio. Technically I haven't met him yet as I am writing at the "Birrificio Lambrato" which is a local brewery in Milan.
OK UPDATE: I wrote all of the previous text in a corner by myself at the "Berrificio Lambrate" (local brewery/pub in Milan) while awaiting Claudio, my next couchsurfing host. While waiting, the table next to me (3 Milan locals, 2 actually from Japan and one from Germany but have been living in Milan for years and spoke Italian fluently and plenty of English) asked me to sit with them since I was by myself. I sat with them (of course I did)...and if any one of you three are reading this, e-mail me!
They were so much fun to talk to and when Claudio showed up we all just sat around and talked for an hour or so. What a great night. I took video of them but not as much as I should have. I really wished it was earlier in the evening and could have talked for a few more hours because we were having great discussions on Milan and America...absolutely everything that is supposed to happen on trips. None of this strictly hotel stuff...get down in the pubs...speak to locals...learn the people for crying out loud!! One of the best nights I've had on this trip.
After Claudio and I left the pub we had a great discussion on American/European government. Mainly just about the pros and cons and the differences between the two. I love those discussions, especially with people who actually know what they're talking about instead of from people in America telling me second or third hand stories. One very important thing I am further learning on this trip is the utmost importance of conversations from people from the local area...it just doesn't get more influential than that.
I'm now on Claudio's pull-out IKEA couch. A wonderful four-fold white soft cushion chair/couch waiting for my unconsciousness...time to give in.
Tomorrow, Lugano, Switzerland.