150 Easters ago ….

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It has been a beautiful Easter week up here – starting with the spectacular drive up the Maloja Pass which takes you over 1800 metres from Chiavenna (Italy) up to the Canton of Graubunden…. and of course on to sunny St Mortiz…

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This high mountain pass, with its tight bends sets the scene so that by the time you reach the top you certainly feel you are on top of the world! No doubt the pass has been improved on since Winter Tourism started 150 years ago – apparently it dates back to pre-Roman times. The Romans built a fully fledged road over it which crumbled as their empire did! At the time the pass was not of primary importance and only gained a lot of traffic in the 19th century connecting Northern Italy to the Engadin…. just in time for the tourist trade to flourish!

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Anyway, THIS Easter we had snow, but by Easter Monday the sun was shinning from a brilliant blue sky and everyone was hitting the slopes – perfect Spring skiing conditions. Those 150 Easter guests I blogged about earlier this week had an absolute ball and by the time they were heading for the train station that evening there wasn’t a pale face amongst them!

150 years ago those brave travellers who made it up the pass had the perfect excuse of staying until the pass was – well – passable – which is why they stayed so long. No snow tyres or chains in those days. Likewise the chair lifts, when they eventually came about, would have been a whole different experience too!

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