June 3rd and 4th
We started our European adventure at the Columbus airport, our first airport of four for the day. The first flight was approximately two hours from Columbus to New York’s JFK airport.
Once at JFK we had to ride the AirTran from terminal 3 to terminal 7 and recheck in at Iberia Airlines. Iberia is the national airlines of Spain and our next stop would be Madrid. The weather in New York was not favorable as it was pouring down rain, which of course, caused long delays. We sat on the runway for two hours until we took off. Having already taken a Benadryl pre-flight, I was out.
Because of the delays in New York we had barely enough time to run through the terminals in Madrid, go through security for the third time, and get on our flight bound for Geneva, Switzerland.
Finally, we had made it to Switzerland. Next we got our Eurail passes validated and off we were to our train. I had never ridden a train before, but the experience (all the experiences) was favorable. First we had a cabin all to ourselves and I took the opportunity to take a nap. Before we exited from Switzerland to Italy we were joined by three French-speaking consultants who worked, and drank, and talked the remainder of the trip.
Arriving in Milan was a bit of a culture shock—much like we felt the first time we went to New York City. We clutched our bags like our lives depended on it. We walked with our heads down. We didn’t look anyone in the eyes. We looked at our map and headed straight for the hotel, which was only a block away from the train station. We checked into the Hotel Berna, took showers, and then asked for a restaurant recommendation, which was Pane e Tulipani. Dinner was exceptional. It started with a glass of champagne, and then moved onto water, bread, wine, and then pasta. I had a lasagna that was fantastic. After dinner we were given lemon liquor. Finally we turned in for the evening.
(See all pictures here, although it's not all there yet.)