As you can see from the title, it wasn’t all smooth when visiting Milan, but the question is did it redeem itself?
We had just left the wonders of lake como and started to make our way towards Milan. Note – we will warn you multiple times about the traffic and the different zones in Milan and around Italy in a different blog.
It was a lovely and peaceful night, like so many we have had when travelling, we were getting hungry and didn’t have an opportunity to stop, so we looked around for somewhere to eat some food. Like so many times, the easy and most convenient option was McDonalds, so we made our way there to get some food before sleep. Nothing was out of the ordinary until we clipped a curb coming round a roundabout and it was evident something wasn’t right…….there was a big pop and a gust of air seemed to shoot from the side of the car. We knew straight away we needed to stop, and the car confirmed this when warning signals flashed up and told us the air pressure in the tyres wasn’t great. Luckily we were in a car park late at night so we took the first space we could and pulled over. After sitting in the car for a second, because we didn’t want to see the devastation, we got out the car to see that the front drivers side tyre was completely flat!
Perfect, the first time we had broke down or got a flat tyre and it happened to be in the middle of Italy!
All we could think is “thank god we have a spare” the only downside to that is its in the boot underneath everything. So the boot was emptied (including the dogs) and we got the spare out. All equipment came with the tyre so great this shouldn’t be too difficult…oh how wrong we were. With the car having a roof top box full and the car being full there is no way the little flimsy jack provided would lift the car…
On a positive note, we have breakdown cover which covers us in Europe so we rang them to see what they could do. They were very helpful and advised us they would arrange someone to come and have a look. After about an hour and a McDonald’s later, the breakdown guys turned up. After a language barrier of us not speaking much Italian and them not speaking much English they put the spare on and off we went (this is not the end as a spare tyre can only go so fast for so long).
We then parked up for the night and went to sleep.
The next morning we woke up to the worry that we would have to sort the car out and get the tyre replaced. With the car doing long journeys, it was also due for a service so we thought we might aswell do that at the same time. At this stage we knew that everything would have to come out of the car, so we would be staying in Milan for longer than we had planned. The next step was looking for a ford garage and a hotel that we could stay in the for two nights, in hope they could get us in pretty quick. After a lot of phone calls and complications around us being in Europe, we decided to just pay out for the car and sort out the details later. So we booked a hotel and went to a ford garage to book the car in for the next day (ford Italy were great and fitted everything around our schedule).
After all the stress of the car all we needed to do now was get to the hotel, book in and relax……
Hoping we could get to the hotel early and get everything out of the car, then just relax for the rest of day, we drove straight there.
We got to book in early, which is always a bonus specially today, but our first warning sign of the hotel was when another guest came back to reception to say they had been given a room with a guest already in it (we hoped that this was a rare and genuine mistake – note it wasn’t).
We got to our room and it wasn’t anything exciting but we weren’t looking for luxury, just somewhere to put our head down, but our first problem came when I went to the bathroom……
It was when I was trying get out I got stuck! The door wouldn’t unlock and I had to jam it open to get back out. At this point I wanted to check everywhere else to make sure there was nothing else wrong with the room. It seemed to go from bad to worse with the shower door hanging off, to bugs flying around the room, so we decided to request another room. We had to wait for a further two rooms (as they also had problems – one being smaller and the other having a broken window), but we were in and we could sit down the relax. At this stage we didn’t really want to do anything but sleep, however we needed to go and get some food so we went out and got a few things before settling in for the night.
That night we relaxed a little with a pizza (everywhere in Italy had pizza) and watched some Italian Tv (where we found there version of take me out)!
So after getting a flat tyre and not the greatest hotel, let’s hope Milan can redeem itself tomorrow……