When my train chugged out of the Dolomites (see previous blog) heading for Switzerland, I had no idea what awaited me. I would be speaking at several places, but beyond that, I knew only the name of my host, Giulia.
She put me up in her home and arranged my speaking gigs as well as my climbing expeditions into the valleys of the Alps of Ticino, the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. She and her family live in Bignasco, a tiny village in a narrow, deep valley. For the next 10 days, I’d get to know the people, the valleys, the rocks (for climbing)…and the goats.
I spoke several times, to big groups and small, and got to be ‘godmother’ at a regional youth climbing competition (I handed out the awards).
Most of the high Alpine valleys have dams (for electricity, which doesn’t exist in all of the valleys), like this one, the Verzasca Dam.
The day we went there, they were setting up for an international climbing competition, and climbers were testing the routes. I just happened to be there when Sasha DiGiulian, renowned American climber, popped up over the top!
Once is not going to be enough; I’ll be back someday, to both the Dolomites and to Ticino. I owe it to myself. And I hope you get to experience them someday, too.