After an unproblematical if rather long journey by train early on Friday afternoon to Zuoz via Landquart and Sagliains (with the Rhätische Bahn), I joined up with some of my team mates at the Zuoz Golf Club bar at around 5.30 for a some drinking games... The game we played involved two dice. Depending on the combination of numbers each time the dice were thrown, someone had to take a sip (or several sips) of their Calanda beer. This went on for about an hour, though no one had more than three beers for the duration of the game since the emphasis was more on taking quick-fire sips than huge finger measurements each go. Afterwards, some of us adjourned to our hotel as we'd booked a large table for dinner there. Others, including yours truly nipped into the Dorta first for a cheeky aperitif.
After an enjoyable meal, most of us returned to the Dorta for a couple of beers before adjourning to the hotel at around midnight.
Saturday morning began in earnest with all the team reporting to the pitches at 9 a.m. The tournament is run by the local school Lyceum Alpinum, an international boarding school for children of extremely rich parents. Over the weekend I heard stories of Russian mafia parents whisking their kids to school in their 4x4s being followed by Interpol detectives on their trail. The school itself overlooks the village and seems very well endowed, if you get my gist.
Anyway, here is a list of this year's participating clubs:
All eight teams were able to play matches at the same time since the grounds comprised four pitches. Munich were drawn to play their first match on the best pitch (Pitch 1) versus the Lyceum school team, while we got Milan on Pitch 4, the worst pitch. I say "worst" pitch in that the crease consisted of natural grass under a plastic gauze, which made for a slightly inconsistent bounce. However, set in what was on one side virtually a natural amphitheatre with very short boundaries, it made for an enjoyable encounter.
To be continued...