Love can be precipitous. So can mountainsides. In the early stages of a relationship, holidays take on a totemic role, symbolising and fulfilling the desire to be with a partner every minute of the day. They can be a test too, of a couple’s compatibility in a foreign environment. Fifteen years ago my girlfriend and I travelled to the northern Italian Alps on what was our second trip abroad together. We had previously been to the Ionian island of Kefalonia, which had been new for me but an old favourite of hers. This time, the roles were reversed as I attempted to convince her of the merits of mountains.
An evening departure from Gatwick meant that we arrived well after nightfall. On our first morning we were rudely awoken by an oompah band marching past our hotel – lederhosen ahoy! It was not a auspicuous start.
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