martedì 14 luglio 2009
Hiking in the Triangolo Lariano
Mum arrived for her visit on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, I sent her off to Bergamo while I did boring but useful things like going to the bank and shifting boxes with Mr. A. On Thursday, however, I decided it was time to join her on holiday and we went for a hike in the Triangolo Lariano, which is the bit of land between Lake Como and Lake Lecco.
You get the train there from Cadorna station in Milan and get off at Canzo station. Just outside the village, there are lots of marked walking trails up into the mountains beyond. A friend had recommended the area to me, but unfortunately I only vaguely remembered the directions she had given me and it took us about an hour to find the tourist office and get out of the village. It's just on the left as you walk up the hill from the train station into the centre of town, but we managed to miss it and did a couple of circuits of the village, asking three passers-by where it might be. The last person we asked was an old man sitting on a bench outside the bar who had probably seen us go past twice and very kindly took pity on us and actually led us to the door of the comune, where the office was housed. That door turned out not to be the actual door for the tourist office, but the woman was incredibly kind and went and got all kinds of maps for me, including one that she gave me for free but I'm sure I should have paid for. She must have realised that somebody who was looking for tourist information in the anagrafe office, which deals with things like residency and taxes, was clearly in need of a map.
Once we had the maps, it took us another couple of circuits of the town to find the right way out. There are 5 or 6 routes, all signposted with the traditional red and white striped markers, and we weren't quite smart enough to remember the number of the path that we wanted to take, which led to us taking another detour, this time up a very steep hill, but eventually we got ourselves on the right one and were heading for the Tre Alpi.
The walk up to the Primo Alpe was steep but not too difficult. The path was shaded by trees and we saw lots of pretty orange butterflies. At the top, there's an education centre and a picnic area. The Secondo and Terzo Alpi turned out to be very close to the first one and the path flattened out, so that part of the walk was easy. On the way, there is a chapel of St Miro, who apparently brought rain to the area during a long drought, and at the top there's an agritourismo. It was a bit late for lunch by the time we got there, but we had a drink, admired the farm tools and the corns hanging from the walls and the ceiling and watched the owners chasing the goats out of the house.
We wanted to go down by a different route, but it wasn't signposted and after our experiences in the morning, we decided it was safer to follow the main path, especially as the thunder was starting to rumble. We made it back to the village just as the raindrops were becoming really big, and were just in time for a train back to Milan.