An eventful Sunday

Milan Travel Blog

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I pulled up myself from the bed early and got ready at 6:00 AM. I was really proud of myself to be awake after a long night and be ready on time. I had to catch a train at 7:15 to Casale Monferrato, to be able to do the Skydive and be on time for a football match at San Siro. I was out in the street and the clock on the street, showed 7:05, it took sometime for me to understand that the clocks have changed to summer time and at the same time a message arrived in my mobile from Dessy which read ‘Where are you?’, by now I knew that my day was screwed, because the next train to Casale Monferrato was at 8:15 and it reaches at 11:50, which would be too late. Getting to this place on a Sunday is really difficult as there are very less trains. There was some constant exchange of SMS between me and Dessy and I tried calling her, but not able to reach her. My efforts to guide to her through SMS about the train, place, and phone number of Luca (Contact person at the Skydive center) went in vain, as it is already late. I arrived at the Central Station at around 7:40. I could see that she was visibly upset, after realizing that the only option was to take the train at 8:15 which means the whole day would be gone in Skydive. Dessy decided to drop the plan as she had plans to meet some friends, and I decided to take the train at 8:15 with a guilt of messing up her plans as she was really excited about the skydive plans. Which means I had to skip the football match.

The train journey to Vercelli was about 50 Minutes and from there I had to change a bus to Casale Monferrato. To my shock, the staff at the ticket counter said the bus is at 13:30 and it was just 9:15, Second biggest shock of the day, I was not supposed to get off at Vercelli. There were a couple of Asian guys who also wanted to go to Casale and we decided to share a taxi. Things started going in right direction from this point. I was picked up by a guy from the Skydive center and I reached the place by 11. After a short briefing, we were ready to go. Luca, the guy with who was exchanging emails is the only guy spoke English, so he would do the tandem jump with me.

After strapping on the harness, there were three tandem jumpers including me and we walked across the field to take the flight. I do not remember which flight it was. But it looked really dodgy. I am sure even the pilot would be sitting with a parachute strapped on to him. In what ever little space that was available we all crammed in, for the take off. It took some time for reaching the 4000m and now its time to jump. The flight itself was an experience. The first 2 tandem jumpers jumped off and disappeared in seconds. Third was mine, for a couple of seconds, I felt completely disoriented after coming out of the aricraft and then was facing the ground, crusing at a great speed. The view was amazing, with the Italian Alps on one side and the ground looked the same through out the world from that altitude. J While, enjoying the view and the fall, I felt like I am the master of the situation, forgetting about the guy behind you, who takes care of the whole proceedings. Luca kept showing the altimeter, which showed around 1500 meters. Now suddenly I felt like I was dragged up and the parachute was open. From free fall to a controlled fall. It was really scary to see that, you were right above the motorway, and few houses, and sheds. If someone fell straight down, then you land up in some body’s bedroom, piercing through the roof. Controlling a parachute is pretty simple, pull the right string to turn right, and pull the left to turn left. J Landing was smooth, as I was asked not to put my feet down before Luca does that. Finally you are on the ground safe and sound! J

Immediately after the jump, I got a ride to Casale station and I was there at around 1.00 PM. I asked a man close to the station about the any trains to Milano and he took me to the station master, they both had a major discussion and then explained me in Italian and some sign language that I have to take a train at 2:50 to Montara and then a train to Milano from there. Now I have a lot of time at Casale and went out to explore the place, before that wanted to grab something to eat and got in to the only Pizzeria around the corner. I found the Asian guys there eating potato chips. I got in and said just one word to the lady there, ‘Pizza’, she started talking obviously in Italian and kept talking and talking, went inside the kitchen kept talking to someone, came back kept talking and finally I heard ‘Toast’. I assumed there was no pizza and only thing available was ‘Toast’. I ordered for Toast. And it was time for a beer, she had Becks and Moretti and suggested tap beer holding up a 50cl mug. I asked her how much by flipping my thumb indicating money. She showed me 3 and something. So it was not expensive. While waiting for the toast, I sipped in beer and then I had a refilling for 5cl. Hope the Swedes and Nowegians are listening… 50cl Beer for 3.5 Euros and a little refill J

While I was eating my toast the man to whom I enquired about the trains, came in explained to me that he is going to Vercelli and I can join him. That was awesome, I could reach Milano at least 2 hours earlier, as there are trains every 1 hour from Vercelli to Milano. I was just about to start, but he asked me to finish the beer and the toast and he would be back in 30 Minutes. I was wonderful! Casale was literally pampering me. On the way, We had some interesting chat about the farms, some biscuit industry on the way, fiat headquarters, Skydiving, all with the medium of communication such as Italian, English and Sign Language. J He dropped me at the station and the next train to Milano was at 2.45 PM and I reached Milano around 3:30.

After reaching the room, I realized that the football match was at 8:45 and I could still buy tickets at the Stadium. I was bit skeptical about getting tickets, but I joined Mutsumi, Masao and an Argentanian guy. They all had a ticket and I wanted to try my luck. We walked from QT8 to San Siro, it was not far, may be a couple of kilometers. There were not a lot of people waiting to buy tickets, and I got one for 19 Euros in the same stand as other three and I had to show my driving license for identity. San Siro is amazing stadium and it can hold upto 85000 people for a big match. I have never been at the Eden gardens watching a cricket match, but I could imagine the electrifying atmosphere with the full stadium. It was a match between AC Milan and Lazio and the stadium was almost half full. The atmosphere was great with the home crowd going crazy during the game, hooting and lighting fireworks and waving huge flags. The game was a draw 1-1 and ended around 10:45. We all grabbed something to eat from the road side eat-outs and headed to the rooms. My eventful day came to an end.
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photo by: williamsworld