There’s not a lot of music options in Slovenia, so going to Milan to see a concert is a must, if you want live music. Neil Young is 70 and I’m 60, it’s probably our last time together. Milan was the closest that Neil Young got to Slovenia, so I bought an online ticket (39 euro just for shipping ($45)). I meet some people on my weekly Lubnick bike ride, who were going to see Neil Young at Piazzol Sul Brenta, about 2 hours away? They added the show after I already bought the Milan ticket. I was driving by the day after the show, so I decided to leave a day earlier and catch the show. Yep 2 Neil Young shows.
I started using BLA BLA CAR, a ride sharing service. I arranged a ride to VICENZA, which seemed closest to the Piazzol/Neil concert. At first the driver wanted just 12 euro, I paid him 20, just the road toll in Italy was 16 euro. I unloaded my stuff at the hostel and went straight to the bus station and took the last bus to the concert site. I bought the Golden Circle Pit ticket, I mean Golden Agers! I figured I could hitchhike back, it’s like 35 km. I stood by the concert exit, with my Vicenza sign, not one ride offered. I was getting desperate. I walked to the parking lot near where the bus dropped me off and tried again. The parking lot was nearly empty and finally this older couple said they were going close to Vicenza, I’ll take it. They spoke 2 more words of English than I spoke of Italian, near 0. They told me about their tour of America, I kept the conversation going until they dropped me 1 block from the hostel at 2 in the morning.
HERE’S AN INTERESTING SET LIST AND VIDEOS OF THE WHOLE CONCERT
I took the train to Milan(o), and grabbed my first bike share to my AIR B&B apartment share. They wanted to let me in at 8, I said if I get a discount, fine. No discount, they gave me directions for getting the key(s!) earlier. 5 locked doors using 4 keys to get in, just a little security.
I didn’t know much about Milan, so I signed up for a bike tour that started at 2pm. My feet were killing me from standing the night before at the concert. Meanwhile I grabbed an e-bike share, google maps and rode around Milan just looking. Milan is trying to be the bike capital of Europe, along with London, Paris, Amsterdam, etc., so I wanted to see how they were doing. I bought this Italy shirt in Ptuj last week.
I went to the train station to go meet my bike tour. They decided to start a strike with my train, so no train. The guides wife met me at the station and we took another train out of town. I offered to do another date/time, they declined, but as it turns out I should have rescheduled. We visited a currently being refurbished estate, where they have concerts. Who was playing? Joan Baez and then Ian Anderson (playing all the Jethro Tull greatest hits), it was the same night as Neil or I would have gone. Then we went by the Italian Designer Alfa Romeo’s museum. Since the train wasn’t running. I didn’t have much time. I had to literally run through the museum. I’m not much of a car buff, but the cars are actually pretty cool. We were too late for another one of our stops. They had the tour timings so close, if one thing happens you miss stuff, that’s what happened. I was a little disappointed with the (no name) bike tour. I think he felt bad too, he bought me several beers at several stops, maybe trying to make me forget what happened.
I was recommended to go see the Women in Design art exhibition and an Interior Design exhibit. One ticket allowed you to visit more than 10 other museums around town, super value.
I love riding around, if you use the metro, your underground and miss a lot of the sites. The “tour bus” cost 22 euro a day, my bike share is 9 euro for a week, first 1/2 hour free, then only 25 cents for a 1/2 hour. I took photos of stuff I found interesting, I hope you like them too. I found a Farmers market where the products had to come < 40 km, Oregon beer, funny art, green buildings and more.
I ruined my feet on a bike tour years ago, but it hasn’t stopped me from riding. I’m using an e-bike here in Milan, because my feet are killing me now. One time I went to get an e-bike, but for the 1st time there were none. I checked out a regular bike and rode to the next bike station and got me an e-bike, problem solved. I couldn’t get my phone data to work (more on that later), so I couldn’t use the app to find the bike stations. Milan has so many bike stations, they’re everywhere and easily found without a map. After the Neil concert, my second bus had stopped running, I walked 2 blocks and there was a bike station SAVED! I must have checked out and dropped off bikes 20-25 times. Italy loves the round pebbles in cement for walking, riding and the whole stadium at the Neil concert in Vicenza. It would take awhile to learn all the safe and smooth bike routes around Milan. If you ended up on one of the many different surfaces, you could lose a tooth filling.
I rode out to the concert site, for the sound check and to see if I could meet Neil. I came in the back way, found the tour buses, then was asked if I was working? Nope, you gotta go. I was out of view and saw a few people hanging by the buses, I tried, but no Neil. I met someone who has worked on the tour for 8 months and hasn’t talked to Neil once, said he stood next to him, that’s it. They said Neil likes his privacy and if you bring someone around to meet him, you may not have a job.
I met Roei on the way into the concert. His wife surprised him a day before the concert with a plane & concert ticket, flying from Israel. We had a great time hanging out, he was a sound engineer for work. There were lots of bandit t-shirt sellers. Willie Nelson showed up and played “On the Road Again” with Neil and the encore “homegrown”
HERE’S THE SET LIST AND VIDEO OF THE WHOLE MILAN CONCERT
I had to take pictures of all the locks & keys required to get into the apartment. I like to eat local food and always thought you had to go to a restaurant. I was wrong, I bought fresh ravioli’s pumpkin, then asparagus/bacon, one with pesto and one with tomato, at the local store. I made a great meal for 5 euro, not 15. Milan has a serious parking problem, there are literally cars parked everywhere on sidewalks or just right on the street (next to a legally parked car). I can see why they’re trying to get people to bike.
My Bla Bla car worked great getting me here, back? Not so much. My driver didn’t want to drive into Milan, so I offered to take the metro to the end of the line. When I get off the train there are 4 exits, which one? Since I couldn’t get my data to work on my phone, I guessed the wrong one and missed my ride. I took the train back to the apartment to use the internet and find another way home. All the rides that day were full, so I tried to ride an e-bike to the train station. The battery was dead, shit, I put it back and got another e-bike. Then train to Venice, change to Trieste bus to Koper and within 1 minute I caught the last bus to Ljubljana.
Using Bla Bla Car to subletting an unused apartment has really been great. The world really has lots of unused resources: empty seats in cars, apartments that no one is using. Even free WiFi is getting more common Milan had free hot spots all around town. I think it says a lot, maybe there is enough for everyone in the world, if we learn to share. I think the sharing economy can have a positive effect of reducing our carbon footprints on the planet by maximizing what we already have.
Thanks for reading
NEXT? We’re leaving tomorrow for a 2 week Romanian road trip, bringing our bikes with us, (of course)
Some quick Romanian facts, largest forest cover in Europe, largest wetlands in Europe, most wildlife. And from what I heard, super cheap travel. It will be a great trip (and blog story)..