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St Moritz

Biography > Holidays And Travel

I went skiing with Bridget, who was then my girlfriend. At the time I kept something of a diary and I reproduce the diary verbatim with extra current comments in brackets.

The idea was that we would go skiing somewhere in Italy and actually decide where when we got to Milan. In the event there was no snow in Italy and so we decided on the spur of the moment to go to St. Moritz.

Sunday 8th February 1981 Luton - parked car (it was actually a mini van that I'd borrowed from work, because I didn't want to leave my soft top in the airport ) - left lights on - freezing cold and exhaust fumes (the exhaust fumes coming into the cab were awful) . Lateish for plane. (I left at 2.00pm from Birmingham for the flight and stopped and dawdled at the service station - a bit late was an understatement - we ran onto the plane - we were the last people and it took off) Soggy cheese sarnies. Rushed and got on plane. Arrived Milan 5.10pm local and caught coach to Milan central

Got on tube going the wrong way- got off- got on right tube- asked Italian if we were going to right station - No we weren't but he was and would take us to right train -arrived late and paid on train with his assistance. He took us to hotel and fed us at a place called Mandello. Meal meat and gerby white and green speckled stuff with it. Excellent wine and so to bed.

Sleepless night due to roar of traffic, and trains and very uncomfortable and soft bed. (Let me expand this. We met an Italian middle aged man and he put us on the train he was going on and bought us an evening meal. He wanted us to go back to his place for a few days and he would show us around. I was quite keen on the idea, a slice of authentic Italian life (or he might have killed us. Bridget thought I was mad even to give a seconds thought. I suspect she was right.)

Monday 9th February 1981 Got up had rolls and coffee. Went for walk round village. Extremely quiet and sleepy. Caught coach to St. Moritz on hotels instructions. Coach late and exhaust fumes. Got into St. Moritz around 2.00pm. Met Canadian who recommended hotel National. Had lunch. Went to hotel in taxi. Booked in. Hired skis. Went to sleep. Got up, ate curried veal and rice and baked apple. Went out to find ski school. Went to bar and so to bed around 11.00pm.

Tuesday 10th February Got up breakfast - up cable car with skis. Arrived 9.50am and went to ski school, leaving Bridget to walk down and meet me. She never arrived. Spent morning in ski school and returned to hotel leaving message to meet me. Went back to ski school. Back to hotel at 4.30pm. Went swimming. Ate kebabs courgettes and tomatoes - then back to bar met Swiss couple. Back to bed at midnight. Gee

Wednesday 11th February Got up breakfast. Bridget going to ski school. I tried to teach her to ski down but panic. Gave up, and told her to walk. Ski school. Bridget not doing well, kept falling off drag lift. Bridget gave up. And so to lunch. Spaghetti bolognese and apfelstrudel. Skiing in afternoon. Skied to village. V icy!. Went for walk for 1 ¾ hours round St. Moritz. Had dinner, chicken. Went for short sleep woke up at 1.30am ! Went to bed. (I have to say that I did not give Bridget the care and attention she deserved. In retrospect it's amazing she agreed to see me again- let alone marry me!)

Thursday 12th February Got up. Had breakfast. Went skiing. Had lunch. Went skiing with ski school. Dinner roast beef. Drank bottle of wine. Went to bed.

Friday 13th February Got up. Had breakfast. Went skiing off piste on own. Caught cable car to Signal skied to Chanterella, to train caught train to Caiuglia - skied down nursery slopes - too easy. Tried run but too icy. Eventually made Celerina in a panic and a sweat. Caught cable car and drag back to Conviglia. Had lunch. Skied down to Signal caught drag back up. Skied down again and all the way to town. VV good day. Went to village. Coffee in swim pool. Back for tea. Risotto i.e. veal and pasta. Fell asleep about 8.10pm.

The diary ends there. What actually happened following was that on the Saturday we went and caught an incredibly scenic cross country train into a deserted village in Italy. We went into a restaurant and sat for about 30 minutes before deciding that no one was going to serve us. Eventually we went back to the station and caught a train to Milan.

We got into Milan late and asked a taxi to take us to a hotel. He drove around before taking us to this hotel. We checked in and went for a meal. The next morning it was obvious that we had been conned because we were right outside the station!

On the Sunday we went to Milan Cathedral and then found the chapel where the Leonardo's Last Supper was. We wandered in, had a good look and left. There were no queues and no feeling that this was a world renowned site. It was all very low key. Then we caught the flight back to England - Luton airport.

We got back and it was a freezing cold day. I had left the lights on on the mini van and obviously after a week away the battery was flat. I tried to bump start it but the brakes had locked on. We got some one from the airport to come out and start the van. We then drove through the freezing night with the windows wide open so we didn't choke on the exhaust. I didn't dare stop in case it wouldn't start again. Eventually just outside Birmingham the engine started to make the most horrible noise. But I didn't stop. Eventually I just made it back. Over the week at Luton the last remaining dregs of oil had drained away and the and the engine was now scrap. A fairly normal holiday then.

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