Days 1-2: Aug. 27-28
COMO, Lombardy – After nearly straight 24 hours of traveling, members of the Dartmouth men’s hockey finally reached Lake Como and the first stop on their 11-day trip through Italy and Switzerland.
Leaving the Thompson Arena parking lot at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, players, staff and family members made their way to Boston’s Logan Airport for a short 40-minute flight to New York and JFK Airport. A three-hour layover soon turned to an aborted takeoff and a nearly three-hour delay as the plane taxied back to the gate for repairs on a door sensor.
Once in the air, it would be a seven-plus hour flight into Milan, landing at 8:45 a.m. local time (2:45 a.m. in Hanover) on Wednesday. After customs and baggage claim that included 21 hockey bags (three goalies), two bags of sticks and countless personal suitcases, the team would board the bus for the 40-minute drive from Milan to Lake Como.
Eurosporttours has been the organization putting together the trip with head coach Bob Gaudet and working with Director of Operations Brian Corcoran on the logistics of a successful trek to Europe. Tour guides Giosi, Sergio, Lollo and Brad welcomed the group at the airport in Milan and provided everyone background information on the bus and upon initial arrival in the city.
After unloading the bus at Hotel Metropole & Suisse on the shores of Lake Como, Giosi gave a guided tour of her hometown, including il Duomo, built in the 14th century, before everyone settled down for a traditional Italian pizza.
The players and staff had a free afternoon to explore Como on their own or take the opportunity to fight off jetlag in their rooms.
Reconvening in the early evening, the group piled into the bus and headed to the opposite side of the lake for dinner. Taking the winding roads that encompass Lake Como, it was clear that only experienced bus drivers can navigate the roadways that not only feature sharp turns and buildings situated just feet from the edge, but also motorcycles and small vehicles that hold little regard for oncoming traffic.
During the meal, every member of the travel party introduced themselves to the group and tour guides. Many members of the party took the opportunity to take photos from the restaurant, which was high above the lake, offering spectacular views of Como and the surrounding villages.
After dinner, there was an information session that explained each of the days ahead, while the players returned to their rooms in preparation for tomorrow’s game in Switzerland.
Continue to check back with DartmouthSports.com for continuing updates on the Big Green’s trip.