December 29, 2013


All the coaches from our hotel were scheduled to cross the border and visit the Swiss resort of St Moritz today, which would involve a trip on the Bernina Express train on one leg of the journey. For some reason we left at 07:00 whereas Shearings and Leger set their departure for 08:30.

So the alarm raised me at 05:30 and after a hasty cold breakfast at 06:30 we were all onboard the coach and travelling North by 07:00. At 08:30 Marius our Romanian guide work us from our slumber. The Bernina Express would not be running when we reached Tirano. The rain that had fallen continuously since we arrived and had been particularly heavy through the last 24 hours had fallen in the mountains as deep snow. Consequently all the road passes were closed and even if we reached St Moritz our planned return by road was out of the question. However, our plans to board the first Bernina Express of the day would fail because that line was also closed by deep snow AND power failure owing to snow on the power lines.

We paused at Tirano, but too early for the railway information office. Marius was told that all the other coaches had decided to o cancel this trip and head instead to Milano even though this had already been on their itinerary. Milano was only an option for them because they had not yet left the hotel, but we had travelled 90 minutes north away from Milano.

Marius decided that St Moritz might be possible later although it did seem unlikely; he decided to drive out of Tirano to Bormio whilst we wait for news. As we closed in on Bormio the incessant rain turned WHITE; Bormio is a World Cup Ski resort. Suddenly the idea came to take the cable cars to Bormio 2000 and we eagerly accepted this.

Very quickly we are in the cafe at 1952 metres amongst all the Boxing Day skiers and snow boarders. Impressive. 3 of our number opted to take an hour on the nursery slopes whilst the rest of us cafe'ed or photographed snow. The snow fell heavily, rescue skidoos went out to retrieve casualties (none of us) and we all enjoyed respite from the rain.

We were asked to return down to the town by 12:00 and then the coach retreated us to Tirano. We didn't need lunch because the hotel had provided us each with a packed meal. By the time we arrived Marius had engaged a road train to tour us around Tirano. But this was a much longer circuit than the standard route and we had stops to take photos, visit attractions and visit a bar. A tailored tour. Even in the rain Tirano showed itself to be very scenic and the centre storico was very interesting.

We left Tirano around 15:45 hours but making an unscheduled stop at an emporium to purchase local wines, meats and cheeses. No really, this was not a stop contrived by our Guide in return for a a back-hander; we asked for this stop. Marius informed us that he never visited Bormio and had never toured the sites in Tirano. Every thing had been arranged on the fly and for the first time. Well done.

Not the day that was intended but very enjoyable and no complaints from anyone. I got snow on my boots and got to chat up several ski boys (see final photo). Great Day.

On returning to the hotel we had our delayed 'welcome drink' with good Prosecco, and then after the meal we were Transited up to the local pub. Good Company. Tomorrow return to UK.

This Blog on Como continues after a few photos

Some photos are given below, but the link given next takes you to the FULL album:

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