Saturday, December 6, 2008

The fiasco in Livigno 6/12/08 Day 142

Day 142 (Slide show)

A few days ago I mentioned I had a chance to go skiing in Italy at a resort called Livigno. After talking with a few folks these past few days I found out that this is a nice resort that is near St Moritz, Switzerland. I’m going to be driving with a guy named Andrew who is a Snow kite adventurer and snowboarder. He is 23 and lives for the snow. He reminds me of myself a bit when I was that age. Even though Livigno is in Italy we will have to drive through Switzerland to get there. I’m very excited and a little nervous since I haven’t been skiing in such a long time. But I know it is like riding a bike, it will come back to me. Andrew had another friend who was to go be he dropped out so it is just the two of us.

I was to meet him at a bus stop near his house here in Prague at 9pm. That was a tough haul using the metro, trams and buses to get there with all my bags. I made it and he was waiting there for me.

We drove all night arriving in Livigno very tired at around 7am. As we passed through Switzerland we had to go through a one lane tunnel that was very interesting. Also right at dawn we came across a castle ruin that looked like a good photo but when I got out too take the picture it was so cold I couldn’t get to the car fast enough. But for the most part the ride was long and hard. Another problem was Andrew’s car is an old Toyota and has a cassette player. He only had one tape, the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction. I got rather tired of that.

Upon arriving in the village and finding the right condo complex where this Polish group was to meet us we found them already there. It’s now 10am and I wanted to get there first but Andrew disagreed so we took our time instead. This was a major mistake. We were the last to too sign up with this outfit of 98 Polish students and we didn’t ride in the bus to protect our spots so when we meet the two guy’s running the group they had our bed for us. We were to share a fold out couch in the kitchen of a two bedroom condo with four other guys.

Something’s Wrong (Junior Watson, Bluesman)

The two morons from Poland running this fiasco had way over booked it and we weren’t the only ones to have a bad situation thrown at them. The whole thing was a joke. Rooms set up for 3 to 4 persons wee being crammed with 5 to 6 people. And then we found out that their friends got separate rooms.

So after about 5 hours of yelling and swearing by many folk’s including me I was telling Andrew that we should go back to Prague. We had paid 100€ as a deposit but I was ready to lose it. The roll out bed was in the kitchen next to the front door and I knew there would be no sleep there. After about 4pm the morons quit talking to us. This didn’t sit well with me. I told Andrew that we should check with the Ski Information office and if that didn’t work we should go somewhere else, maybe another resort or something.

It was a bad time to get in this kind of a spot because the village was booked out for the weekend. Our hope was that the information office could find a cancellation. Well there is a lot more to the story including Andrew begging at one point but at about 7pm we were in our own condo which was much nicer and in the end after loosing the 100€ deposit we paid about the same. It showed us how much those two Polish trip organizers were making. This was a very long 48 hours. But a good nights sleep and I’m skiing in the Italian Alps tomorrow.