We decide to go skiing for a week to Airolo – Pesciüm with another couple and their three children. The kids (three of them) go skiing with the dads, while we stay with the youngest one, watch the older ones go up and down the slopes, and also enjoy the odd aperif. This, at least, for a handful of (relaxing) days. And it really feels like holiday.
However, the dreaded day of the planned snowshoeing excursion comes soon… our friends are sportsy (to say the least) while we are not. Actually, only I am not. Still, I couldn’t pull back, in particular because they had chosen for us a very short trail followed by an overnight stay in a cosy cabin, with a dinner of raclette and wine. And if you put some raclette at the end of the stick, instead of a carrot, I can walk for miles… No raclette as a reward? Try a barking dog: in that case, I can even run.
It’s snowshoeing time
So after a morning spent skiing (them) we all leave for Nante where we park the car by the little church. Then we walk to the village, take the first lane on the right, and we reach a sort od square/service area, where the trail starts and where we put on our snowshoes. If it is your first time ask someone to help you, as it is not as intuitive as it seems.
Our walk lasts about 30 minutes – even less if the kids (mine in particular) would stop throwing himself in the snow, complaining he is too tired and in need of a break. In reality he just wanted to play in the snow – and could not be persuaded by the promise that once in Cucurei he could have played in the snow for hours. Maybe it sounded too good to be true.
As you walk up the trail, the path crosses the black run of Airolo Pesciüm, so you need to pay attention. Then you keep walking until you reach a cluster of little homes, where the trail bends, and you find yourself walking on the black run…this time you walk long it, so once again: pay attention!…
We reach Cucurei
When we reach Cucurei everyone is happy: during the day the cabin doubles as a ski bar: in fact for about one hour, it is very crowded, The kids go outside to roll in the snow and make a snowman. When the last skier leaves, we go upstairs to see our rooms: there are three and they are lovely; so they start singing: “Cucurei, rei rei… Cucurei, rei rei”, and keep singing it all night.
The manager (a friend of my friends) prepares us a delicious dinner, tells us where we can find bread, butter, jam and nutella, teaches us to make coffee, hands us the keys and at about 10 PM skis away. We are all alone, surrounded by the forest, tons of snow and silence… the sky is clear and it feels as if you can touch the stars. The kids are hyper excited and no one wants to go to bed… which is a shame because we have to give the sauna in the basement a miss. What a wonderful day: and to think that I did not want to go!
Sidenote: you do not have to sleep in Cucurei, you can return to Airolo and sleep there… but you miss the special night and the stars…. So the choice is yours!