Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Category: pictures

Neuchâtel – Geneva

The Italian comedian Maurizio Crozza sometime imitates a bogus politician, former representative of the Italians abroad elected in Switzerland. When he does, he uses as a background an idyllic Swiss landscape. It is not the usual Alpine view; instead, it is a hilly, blossoming, countryside with vineyards and small houses here and there.

This is what I think of when I look outside the window of my train, just outside of Neuchâtel heading towards Yverdon-les-Bains and then Geneva or Lausanne.

Fermata valida solo la domenica

I took this picture in Panzano, where I went for a feast with Arianna, Ludi, and Matteo. We ate at Dario Cecchini‘s, who really knows how to throw a big party every week. It was a sunny, windy day of Autumn. It felt strange to reach Panzano by car: I used to go there by bike.

Looking for the future

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This picture was taken at around 20:30 on a Wednesday, behind the Sacre Coeur. Arianna, Francesca, Luca, Jimmy and I were drinking wine and eating food on the side of this beautiful road, like hundreds of other people. The lockdown had just been lifted, most bars were closed and people were taking over the streets. A truly beautiful sight. At some point, these three girls walked up the street. They took pictures, exchanged clothes, and then took other pictures. It must have been some kind of photo shooting. I asked Luca to take a photo of them while they were checking the pictures on one of their phones.

Bis di montagne

Saturday morning with my bike: Bevaix, La Fruitiere (coffee break in mountain hut), Le Soliat (lunch break with a rösti at La Baronne: remember to come back in here with some good friends/family), Couvet, Gorge de la Rose.

Sunday: Jean-Thomas, Alexis, and Jeremie. The latter is a living example of how not to dress when hiking in the mountains: I love papa Francesco t-shirt with a fresh coffee stain, sneakers, light socks, and Gandalf-like stick. Broc, Dent de Broc (1828), la Trême, Gruyères (Jean-Thomas says it looks “just like Tuscany” because you can clearly see “la mano dell’uomo“: I am not convinced), Fribourg, Marco, Deg, Thibaut, fondue moitié-moitié, fondue fribourgeoise, and double créme.

 

 

 

Roccia solitaria

Vicino a Scex Rouge, Glacier 3000, con Yvan, Jean-Thomas, Maria e Quinn, ultimo fine settimana prima della quarantena (8 marzo). Dietro alla roccia c’è un rifugio, talmente piccolo e nascosto che non riesco più a ritrovarlo nemmeno su Google.

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Ganghoferlauf in Leutasch

I spent a weekend with my father between Innsbruck, Leutasch and Seefeld in Tyrol. It felt good.

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The train ride between Zurich and Innsbruck is spectacular: Zürichsee, Wädenswil, Walensee, Vaduz, Feldkirch, Bludenz, St. Anton (the Arlberg Valley and the Voralberg). It is not the first time I take this train; but finally I take some pictures looking out of the window.

I arrive in Innsbruck in the late afternoon. My father picks me up: we drop our backpacks and drive up to Leutasch to check the ski tracks and get our race numbers. My father had signed us up for the Ganghoferlauf. Despite being being absolutely unpronounceable, this is the biggest cross-country event of Austria. My father had wisely decided to participate to the 25km, supposedly a piece of cake in comparison to the 60 km of the Diagonela and the 70 km of the Marcialonga.

One day before the race, the organisers decide to exclude participants coming from four Italian regions (Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto) because of the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. My father and I do not come from those regions, but I ask him to keep a low profile: Italians do not get very good press these days. Upon arriving to the place where we were supposed to get our race numbers he starts yelling ‘Adele, Adele!’ and runs across the queue to hug a race aficionada he knew. Later he seems to take a certain pleasure coughing loudly and swearing in Italian ‘Mannaggia che brutta tosse!‘. People keep a distance from us.

On Saturday morning we arrive at the starting blocks at around 8:40. We entertain phone calls with mother and friends right before the departure. We play it cool.

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It is a beautiful landscape. The snow is fresh, but difficult to ski. It tends to stick under the wax, right below the skis. On top of the first hill I must to stop together with other participants to clean up my skies. My father does not care much to wait for me: he rolls on, happy as a kid in his ninja outfit.

I chase. I get on the second hill and must stop again. This time, though, I decide to clean my skies a little further on, at the beginning of the downhill. Big fucking mistake. I clean my right ski alright. I am about to clean the left ski, but I realise it is no longer there. It is going down the descent already. What do I do?

I chase it with my right ski on. It is possible, after all.


Alas, I am no Bode Miller. I am too slow. So after 300 meters I stop, take out my right ski, and start running behind my left ski. Now it looks more like this.

Other participants are overtaken by a lonely ski and then by an Italian guy who runs down the hill like a little devil screaming ‘Achtung! Achtung!‘. They seem uncomfortable. Go figure.

I catch my ski after 1 km of descent. At that point, I am pretty much done for it. But I continue and rejoin my father. We roll joyfully to the finish line.


The next day we go for some backcountry skiing to Glungezer Hütte (2677 m). We take a lift in Tulfes (922 m), then start walking in Schartenkogel (2.055 m). It is not much of a walk, but the weather is cold and windy. By the time we get up we are half frozen. The last steps are fun, as you have to hold yourself to a rope. I managed to take a quick shot of my father climbing up. I hold the camera in the wind and the snow. Quite a feeling. We order two memorable soups that I will try to imitate once I am back home and we prepare for the descent. The weather has cleared up. It is now bright and calm. The afternoon is swell.

In the evening we drive back to Leutasch and we land in the sauna, which is wonderful. Also remember to go eating at Weinhaus Happ. Notes for the next time we will be in Innsbruck: di Wilderin and Karwendel.

On Monday we go backcountry skiing again, but the wind is now too strong and we prefer to stop. We visit the Kaiserjägermuseum and the Tyrol Panorama, home of the beautiful Gigantic Panoramic Painting depicted below. These museums are located right below the spectacular Bergisel Ski Jump (I did not manage to take a picture myself, so I am using Michielverbeek’s).

Upon returning to Neuchâtel I am content. I still cannot pronounce Ganghoferlauf.

Grüne Papeterie

Shortly after NYE in Bordeaux, Thomas and I rejoined in Berlin. He was traveling from the South-West of Europe all the way up North to Copenhagen. We spent three days around Kreuzberg together with Anna and Felix (Jonas also made an impromptu appearance). It was grey and rainy, but we had a jolly good time.

If you are in the area, then go to Kvartira 62 for some vodka with pickles before dinner; Gong Gan for Korean bowls with Lego or Schwiliko for Georgian sources made with herbal roots; then head to die Kommune for Turbo Mate and finally visit the Hotel, where you can play team-chess until 2:30AM.  From there, we suggest you move to Tresor: apparently the bouncers have a very loose policy and let everybody in (Alas, we were not). Also, buy some drawing material at die Grüne Papeterie before they close it down and then go for a walk: you might bump into something that strikes you as beautiful. If you have only one museum to pick, then my informed choice would be die Berlinische Galerie – Anna and I were lucky and found a Bauhaus exhibition there.

On one of the pages of my paper I scribbled a little poem: “Silenzio / Improvviso battito d’ali / Uno stormo si leva nel cielo azzurro / Sferragliamento su rotaia“. Then I wrote down a list of ‘Things that make me feel I am in Berlin‘: candles, the s-bahn passing above your head, sneakers, musicians in the street, graffiti, bars that are more like apartments with open doors, a lot of queer and postcolonial books, smell of roasted meat when walking on the street.

Natale in montagna

The photo with the horses (all the pretty horses) makes me think of a random scene from War and Peace, with the army resting in the aftermath of a gruesome battle.

 

Cavalese, 2019.

Pale di San Martino

Partenza da Neuchatel alle ore 14:30 di sabato 28 settembre. Arrivo a Trento alle 20:03. Ricongiungimento con Giallu alle ore 22:30. Riposo. Colazione a Trento alle ore 7.30. Ore 10.00 arrivo a San Martino. Seconda colazione a San Martino per evitare possibili crisi di fame. Funivia per il Rifugio Rosetta. Tosella a metà strada per ovviare al languorino di tarda mattinata. Inizio camminata alle 12:00, con un ritardo di circa tre ore sulla tabella di marcia.

Dal rifugio (2.581 m) prendiamo il sentiero 709 per la trista cima Fradusta (2.939 m) completamente avvolta nella nebbia. Da lì, calata al Rifugio Pradidali (2.278 m) con moto volvente rilassato. Arrivo alle ore 16:00 e salto in branda nel bivacco storico. (Quello nuovo, tutto in legno e vetri, è sigillato ermeticamente). Cena con Costantino e Sandra. Loro sono lì per festeggiare il compleanno di Costantino, a cui piacciono il karate, il tiro sportivo con la pistola, i bonsai e gli infortuni sportivi. A letto dopo esser stati raggiunti da due alpinisti tedeschi poco in vena di socialità.

Il giorno successivo alba spettacolare con sole riflesso sulle pareti circostanti. Partenza senza fretta e con qualche difficoltà nell’indossare l’imbrago. Via ferrata del Porton (un’ora e mezza con scaletta iniziale da brivido) e poi via ferrata Nico Gusella (un’ora e mezza, principalmente a scendere) con passaggio dalla misteriosa Forcella Stephen (2.650 m). Lunga marcia con graduale discesa ed impietosa risalita verso il Rifugio Rosetta, anticipata da un fugace quanto imprevisto ritorno al Pradidali per recuperare la torcia dimenticata in branda. Allungo finale verso Cima della Rosetta (2.743 m) e discesa a San Martino senza funivia, faccia alla bella valle. Ultimo tratto al trotto, approfittando delle piste da sci non ancora innevate: francamente sconsigliabile e possibilmente da non ripetere.

September 2019