snowboarding weekend

Looking back at it, the weekend went by blindingly fast, as usual. Thinking back at everything that happened over the past three days, however, returns a different mental picture of how fun filled and action packed it was.

After giving it much consideration, I deliberated that leaving for the mountains with my friends two hours after flying back to Italy to see my family would be a bit too inconsiderate.

Hence, I resolved that Carlo, Bobo, and we could drive up to Bobo's place in Madesimo the morning after the day I landed at the gloomy and overcrowded Milan/Bergamo airport.

My parents came to collect me, and I was delighted to see my mum's head peaking out of the crowd in the arrivals hall. I greeted her with a wide smile, three kisses, and a couple of hugs. Dad got the same deal of displays of affection when we got to the car.

Mum and dad came with my sister's sporty car, due to a mishap involving Dad smashing his car's front bumper into the side of somebody's else car, thankfully with no consequence to drivers or passengers. I couldn't resist the allure of a spot of sporty driving, so I took the wheel (the steering wheel, that is).

Once home, I politely and reasonably declined my friends' offer to go out for a couple of drinks, and stayed home with mum and dad, nicely soaking in the cosy and relaxed atmosphere from living room couch.

After a good night's sleep in my comfy bed, I began my day by getting all my snowboarding gear together and having a nice espresso/croissant combo while waiting for Carlo to pick me up.

After collecting Bobo, we spent two hours bringing each other up-to-date with the latest news, while views of northen Italy were whizzing by our car windows.

Once we got to the Campodolcino, we quickly geared up and boarded the train that would take on the slopes, and give us some time to gulp down a few home-made paninis.

What followed next can only be described as one of the most spectacular and blissfull snowboarding days of my life. The snow was plentiful and fresh, the weather opened up from cloudy to gorgeous blue skies, and the slopes unrolled in front of us in pristine conditions.

Most skiers must have been scared off by weather forecasts which predicted stormy and snowy conditions, as nearly all we could here was the silence of the mountains, interrupted only by the hissing noise of our snowboards' blades on the snow.

Our glorious snowboarding day was crowned by a lively and heartwarming night out. We started our evening in the local bar, where we met the two men that run a ski-rental shop in the village, the very same men that earlier that morning helped me with a technical problem that affected my venerably old (nearly 12 years old now) snowboard. I had lost one of the screws of one binding, and all the other screws in the other binding had gone rusty. These merry men replaced all my screws for free (at the cost of nearly forcefully driving one rather long screw all the way through the bottom of my board... they thankfully didn't punchit through, even though they left a hefty bump on the underside where the screw tried to pry its head out).

They set down with us, and soon more people came, and bottles of wine and trays with cold cuts were quickly being downed in between laughs and jokes. Great fun, all the locals and the people working at the bar were joining in and having a good time with us.

After our happy aperitivo, we moved the party to the local pub/pizzeria, where I had a lavishly generous pizza: a bismark pizza. You can't mistake this pizza for any other, due to the fried egg sitting in the middle of it. We added wurstels to the stock (as in traditional) ingredients, just to make sure we would be absolutely stuffed after eating it.

Three of Bobo's friends, who would stay with us that night and join us on the slopes the following day, joined us in time for pizza and some nice amari afterwards.

By the time we got home, I badly needed sleep and rest. I got a full night rest, but less than half a night worth of sleep, due to someone's (who shall remain nameless) loud and incessant snoring.

The next morning saw us showing up at the same bar bright and early for our breakfast. A cappuccino and two bakery-oven-warm crossaint's eased me into the busy day ahead. After a trip to the butcher for some cold cuts and paninis to bag for our lunch, we were off to the slopes.

Starting skiing at 8 o'clock in the morning has the distinct advantage of enjoying empty slopes and lifts. The only downside is the lingering cold from the previous night, which the morning sun still hasn't had a chance to dissipate. That, coupled with a cloudy weather, made the morning snowboarding a bit nippy, to say the least.

The only interruption to our six hour long snowboarding marathon was a brief break we took to savour a warm "bombardino". That is when we realized that a fussball table was sitting outside the bar, next to the piste. We didn't have a fussball game though, as the conditions on the fussball pitch were prohibitive.

We avoided the glacial temperatures of the highest slopes, which, at an altitude of 3000 meters, would have been in and around -15/-20, by settling with the more confortable lower slopes.

Around eleven o'clock, more people showed up for their Sundays ski, but we pushed on through till 13:00, the time our pomeridiano ski-pass ended. Then, I was so pleased with the many fun-filled snowboarding hours we were able to pack into our two days in Madesimo, that it made me forget about the looming long drive home and my very tired legs and shoulders.

A nice shower, a cold beer before, and no traffic at all meant that Carlo, our driver, made a great time returning home, where mum, dad, Marta and my grandmother were eating "chiacchere". I told everyone about my great day and munched on a few chiacchere with them.

Then, I was off to the Sundays' cinefabio, where I met some good friends of mine, played calcetto, had a few beers, and watched some TV together.

The last day at home was dedicated to family and rest. I ended up doing some maintainance work on the family computer and went food shopping with mum and dad, helped Marta through the intricaces and pain of writing her own CV, and then finally drove to the airport for my flight back to Dublin.

On my flight, I couldn't help but think about the great weekend I just had had, and decided to avoid boredom by pulling out my Nokia N770 tablet and my foldable keyboard to type this down.