Hello friends and fellow bloggers, hope you and your family are staying safe! It’s been nearly two years since I published my last post, but I’m back now!
Picking up where I left off — I really need to publish this long overdue post about Valtellina valley, a hidden gem of northern Italy close to the border of Switzerland. You know, I always had a thing for snow. It was the one thing I insisted to see when flying halfway around the world from New Zealand. There might be no snow in March, G said, but we tried anyway.
From Milan we drove far north through a scenic route along the Como lake, made a couple of stopovers before heading off to our base Bormio. The car ride was so pleasant. Everything we encountered was heartbreakingly beautiful, from glittering lakes to colorful houses perched on the cliffs of snowy mountains. We spent hours strolling the medieval town Varenna for sight-seeing, so charming and quiet in the low season.
Serene lake view
We really took the time to wander around, and by the time we arrived in Bormio, the town already felt asleep. Thin mists seemed to fill the black void. Piles of snow along two sides of the road were melting, dirty and wet. But they made quite a fascinating sight from our window the following morning. Snow sparkled under the sun, sitting atop of light brown bungalow rooftops against the dark green background of pine mountains.
View from our bungallow in the morning
Bormio town center
We set off early to go hiking in the Valtellina valley. Although it was off the season, the car park was almost full as we entered a large ski resort in the valley. People came here for all kinds of activities, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. But we set the intention right from the beginning that our week-long trip would be a vacation only. Definitely would not do anything hardcore!
Putting on snowshoes which we rented earlier in the town center, G and I followed the sign post in the car park and started to hike up. The groups of hikers in colorful winter outfits started to disperse and shortly after we found ourselves alone in the trail. The vast panoramic landscape of Valtellina valley quickly revealed itself, with little wooden houses and brown pine trees dotted across it. It was really a feast to the eyes.
The tracks were mainly flat and easy with breathtaking views along the way, which is my favourite kind of hike. It wasn’t like in Auckland where people seemed so fond of extremely muddy tracks in the rainforests. Or perhaps it was just me, the leisure seeker. I mean, I studied so hard back in New Zealand and this trip was supposed to be a reward wasn’t it?
For a moment I envy Italians for having all these to themselves…