Thursday, September 2, 2010

Holiday within a holiday

OK, we haven’t blogged for a while. We were afraid that our cycle-touring cred may have taken a bit of a dive during our recent exploits.
Here’s a little snapshot of our oh-so-indulgent, side trip to the Alps.

The setting
Italy: Milan, Aprica and ‘La Baita’ (a renovated stone farmhouse in the mountains where shepherds once lived while their flocks grazed on the summer pastures)
Switzerland: Soglio, a quaint mountain village where shepherds still graze their herds and a mini industry of chestnut based products flourishes

The players
Italia: Diana, Tito, Kate, Gulio and Franci (Ali’s aunt, uncle and cousins), the associated extended family and Lottie & Skip (the dogs)
Switzerland: Steve & Ingrid (now husband and wife), Steve and Ingrid’s families, Kim and Emily and associated wedding guests

The timeline
Fly into Milan and stay a few days
Rent car and drive to Aprica in the Italian Alps
Drive to Soglio via St. Moritz for Steve and Ingrid’s wedding
7 days in Soglio
Drive back to Aprica
Several days in the Baita
Cycle from the Baita to Como, then train to Milan
More days in Milan

The Highlights
Being spoilt by Diana, Tito and co in all three of their houses and being adopted into their family
Having a good grounding in life in Italia
Relaxing at the Baita
Drinking espressos and eating zugoiny
Dinners with up to 20 guests at the baita
Indulging in Italian wines, cheeses, meats, pastas, pizzas, coffees, etc
The 120km ride through the Alps and alongside the ‘Lake of Como’
Morning breakfasts at café Biffi

The wedding, which to be fair, really encompassed the entire week of festivities
Walks through chestnut forests
Day trip with Kim and Emily to Chiavenna
The creation of ‘Warm Storm’ the folk-rock-cover-band-trio of Steve (g-tar), Ali (violin) and Andrew (flute)
Nightly cookups with wedding guests
Stealing wifi from Stua Grande
Getting a double grande while playing Bolivian yahtzee imported by Kim and Emily

Aprica and Baita



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