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Weekend from Venice

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We are currently planning our annual guys long weekend skiing. In the recent past we have done Verbier, Chamonix, Villars. This year we are thinking Italy is a good option, given currently no entry quarantine and no quarantine on return to UK. I accept this could change quickly. Flights are cheap as chips. Would be arriving Thurs morning, landing at 9.40am, departing Sunday evening at 8.10pm.

Normally we want a bit of nightlife, but suspect this will be harder to come by this year, so not a priority. Key things are short transfer from Venice so we can be skiing in the afternoon we arrive. Also want enough variety to keep us occupied for a few days - intermediate level skiing, so cruisy reds and blues ideally.

I was thinking Cortina might be a good option, due to short-ish transfer, reasonable sized town and enough local skiing to keep us interested. I'd love to get to the Sella Ronda - is this feasible from Cortina? Also seen that Alleghe area is popular - would this be a good option? Or should we head further in to the Dolomites - my only concern is this might jeopardise skiing on the afternoon of arrival (we will probably hire a car).

Probably looking at either first weekend or last weekend of Feb.

Any thoughts or advice are most welcome. We could still fly into Geneva or also Milan.
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@Pippo9, I've skied Corrina 3x before the BB but I would say a couple of days is enough.

Somewhere on the main drag is better.
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Alleghe is great. You can it from the val de.Zoldo side. Smaller towns, but awesome views.
It's also a quicker drive from that side to Cortina.
Alleghe is easier to drive up to the bottom of the Marmada lift, where you.can also take the chairs up to the Sella Ronda.
The Alleghe resort (Civetta) is the heart of the Great War ski ring which takes in part of the Sella Ronda.
If it were me I'd stay in Alleghe. So easy for the SR, hidden valley etc.
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Another vote for Alleghe, short transfer time from Venice airport, beautiful Civetta mountain area, the Zoldo area is my favourite. Alleghe is set by the side of a lake, there's an excellent bar (the Bierstube) in the town that brews two of its own beers (one is a lager type, the other more reddish). You didn't say what type of accommodation you're looking for, but if you want a hotel in Alleghe then sHs can certainly recommend the Sporthotel Europa where we stay on the preBBWUW bash. Friendly staff and amazing food. Very Happy
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@Pippo9, Alleghe a better base for your short trip than Cortina. Shorter transfer to get to the slopes quicker and easier access to Sella Ronda and Marmolada.

Car rental at Venice airport might be worth asking about on here. Can be a bit hit and miss, eg car model type, winter tyres, etc. Some suppliers have better reputation than others.
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Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Sun 4-10-20 9:11; edited 1 time in total
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If you are going car rental at venice. Avoid Firefly. Look at flying into Treviso as well.
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Thanks everyone. Looks like people favour Civetta/Alleghe over Cortina.

A few other comments / questions.

1. Flights would be into Venice MP. Can't get them to Treviso from our nearest airport.
2. In the past, we have used a fast private transfer service rather than hire a car. Does a similar thing exist for Alleghe or do we need a car? Will we also need a car when there or are the ski buses frequent enough?
3. Accommodation preference is a 2 bed apartment so we can make breakfast and have a living area.
4. In terms of skiing, I would imagine 1.5 days on the Civetta and the couple of other days out. Probably Sella Ronda - how easy to get to from Alleghe is this and can we do it on bus or do we need a car?
5. Any other recommended ski areas in the vicinity for a day trip? Hidden Valley? Super8? Cinque Torri? Again, do we need a car for these?
6. Generally, is there enough slopes in Civetta for a couple of days nice cruisy skiing? On the face of it, seems there is.
7. Is it worth going further into the Dolomites? If so, where and would it be possible to make it in time to ski on the afternoon of arrival?

Thanka in advance for the help. The Dolomites area is so vast that it's hard to figure all this out. I guess it becomes clearer once you've been.
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@Pippo9, Some answers to your questions. We have gone for about the last 15 years to the Ciclamino hotel just down the valley from Alleghe. A nice hotel at about 2/3 the price you would pay in Cortina or Wolkenstein.

With an early flight to Venice we drove up to the Cinque Torri and stayed in the Rifugio Scoiattoli for a few days. A late flight back from Veniice allowed us to climb until 17:00 before leaving for the airport.

Alleghe is a fairly reliable 1 1/2 hour drive from Marco Polo. It is possible to do Cortina in about that time, but it can take over 3 hours.

2. A car would be vey useful and for a weekend not too expensive. However, if it is a deisel make sure you have anti waxing additative. My nepthew was caught out. Apparently in Venice they do not (or did not) use winter deisel.

3. Hotels are much more common and do a decent breakfast.

4,5 and 6. From Alleghe it is a short drive of 13 km up to the Marmolada telepherique and another extensive ski area. A longer drive upto Passo Giau will give access to the Cinque Torri and hence to the Lagazuoi. Both routes are well served by busses. a longer drive will take you up to San Perregrino or Arraba.

7. Probably not
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Quote:

2. A car would be vey useful and for a weekend not too expensive. However, if it is a deisel make sure you have anti waxing additative. My nepthew was caught out. Apparently in Venice they do not (or did not) use winter deisel.


This is one to watch out for. The garage nearest the airport (self service in tessera) does not have additive and that is where people fill up. However, the garage on the way out sell the additive inside the shop.
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@Pippo9, In answer to some of your (numbered) points:

#2. Transfers. I've used Venice Cab previously who give a good service. You'll see that from Venice Marco Polo airport direct to your accommodation in Alleghe they charge between € 190 to € 210 each way dependent on the number of passengers and size of the vehicle (that's the total price for the vehicle, so obviously split between your group). One of the advantages of having a transfer from the airport is that you'll be underway a bit sooner than if you rented a vehicle as you save on the time at the rental desk and checking out the vehicle etc.

#3 Accommodation. You should be able to find rental apartments on the tourist office website: https://www.montecivetta.it/en/contatti/trovaAlloggi.html

#4 and #5. For days out away from Alleghe there are a couple of options even if you don't have a car. From Alleghe there is a bus service to Malga Ciapela, once there you can have two options: (1) take the 3 stage cable car to the top of the Marmolada at 3270m (on the way up it's worthwhile visiting the free museum at the top of the second cable car about the mountain fighting in WW1 for say 20 minutes if that interests you). Some great views from the top (only do it if it's a nice day) then there's a very long red run all the way back down. (2) If you stay on the bus a bit further than the cable car for the Marmolada get off by the Capanna Bill chairlift that takes you in the direction of Arabba, once at Arabba you are on the Sella Ronda. The bus to Malga Ciapela from Alleghe takes about 25 mins and you can buy a ticket at the lift pass office or on the bus (it's €1more on the bus, I think it's about €6 but the ticket is valid for the return leg on the same day). or Option (2) From Alleghe you can ski over to the far side of the Civetta ski area at Pescul from where there is a skibus that takes you to Fedare (pay on the bus). Fedare is on the rear side of the Cinque Torri ski area, there's a slow chair from Fedare that takes you to the top in about 25 mins but once you're at the top the runs on the front side are great and served by modern lifts. The scenery at Cinque Torri is amazing and the pistes are usually very quiet. From Cinque Torri you can ski or take a bus to Passo Falzarego for the cable car up the Lagazuoi mountain (great views from the top again) which is the start of the Hidden Valley run. Cool

Hope this helps, any more questions ask away. snowHead
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Quote:

The Dolomites area is so vast that it's hard to figure all this out. I guess it becomes clearer once you've been.

Not for me - I've been quite a few times now and always rely on somebody else - including @Alastair Pink, who has an unrivalled knowledge of the area. Cinque Torri is extraordinary. Or I should say "are extraordinary" I suppose!
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If you are thinking of going to Civetta and only going for a long weekend something that you may wish to consider is that Zoldo (Other side of the mountain from Alleghe- same ski area) offers night skiing.
This means you get considerably more time on the slopes if that's your thing. You may have to pay extra, depending on your pass but the atmosphere is truly fantastic and I highly recommend it, if you've never tried it before. The bars are usually full on the slopes and buzzing, but who knows, this year?


https://www.dolomitisuperski.com/en/Experience/Ski-areas/Civetta/Night-skiing


http://youtube.com/v/6RkUO8JzPFw&ab_channel=TheArmellini
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Having been lucky enough to get away for a couple of weeks in the summer on a trip we booked in December, we managed to fit in a short visit to Alleghe with a drive up to the top of the first gondola and then a ride up the next section to Col dei Baldi. Obviously it was all green, but it was still interesting to see what the options were. Civetta and Pelmo are very striking, and its a very scenic area.

We returned a few days later to do a full day's walking from Malga Ciapela up to one of the rifugios at Val Ombretta, which was a spectacular day. Both days persuaded me that a return in the winter was fully justified. A return for more walking is also on the cards.

Having driven through most of Alleghe (not just the main road through it), it looked like a reasonably nice little place, though the modern conference centre is a bit ugly and out of proportion for such a small and remote spot. The village is pretty spread out, and it looked to me that the accommodation was pretty limited but central, but if you were prepared to go a little further away from the centre there were a lot of possible places. However, these were pretty far from the lift, and on a steep hillside, so maybe not that attractive if you wanted to eat in town or stroll around.

One thing which was very noticeable is that where I've been used to skiing _on_ the mountains in Austria, in the Dolomites you will definitely be skiing _between_ them as the peaks have fairly serious cliffs on almost all faces. At Alleghe, the pistes are primarily around the plateau areas between the peaks, so they're almost all red or blue with only a few short black runs - see https://www.dolomitisuperski.com/en/Experience/Ski-areas/Civetta/Ski-map

Driving from Venice Marco Polo was pretty simple. We were staying in Vittorio Veneto, which is about 40 minutes north of the airport. Alleghe was another hour from there - the road is motorway to Belluno, and then single carriageway and fairly slow from that point, so Google's 2 hour estimate is probably about right if the roads are relatively quiet.

Car hire from Venice was fairly simple for us, but collection was slow even though there was no queue. We hired from Autovia/Ecovia via Holiday Autos, but wouldn't again - the car was powered by methane (metano) at €0.95 per Kg and therefore gave a 300Km range for about €17, which is all very laudable, except that there were very few places to fill up and most of them required a 25-30 mile detour and a dedicated app to find them. Even then, don't even think of filling up before 8am, between noon and 2pm, after 5pm, or on Sunday as they'll be closed.
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Thanks everyone - some great advice hear. Have done a bit more digging and looks an ideal place for a weekend. Looking at it the villages there, am I right in thinking:

Alleghe - larger village (so more restaurants and accommodation), quicker access to other areas (Sella Ronda, Cinque Torri etc), longer transfer from airport.
Zoldo - smaller village, longer to get to other areas, shorter airport transfer, night skiing available.

If we went to Zoldo - am I right in thinking this then adds time to get to some of the other nearby points of interest? Can you get buses as easily from Zoldo as you can from Alleghe? Gut feel is we probably wouldn't do the night skiing if we were skiing most of the day (likely to be pooped, accident prone as a result and really just wanting to relax with a beer and good food).
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 Poster: A snowHead
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You've had plenty of good advice here, so I'll just answer question 6.
We went on the Bash last year and decided against doing any of the away days and felt the skiing was still varied enough for the whole week, so a few days would be fine. There are some lovely, cruisy runs and the best mountain pizza we've ever had!!!
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Pippo9 wrote:
Thanks everyone - some great advice hear. Have done a bit more digging and looks an ideal place for a weekend. Looking at it the villages there, am I right in thinking:

Alleghe - larger village (so more restaurants and accommodation), quicker access to other areas (Sella Ronda, Cinque Torri etc), longer transfer from airport.
Zoldo - smaller village, longer to get to other areas, shorter airport transfer, night skiing available.

If we went to Zoldo - am I right in thinking this then adds time to get to some of the other nearby points of interest? Can you get buses as easily from Zoldo as you can from Alleghe? Gut feel is we probably wouldn't do the night skiing if we were skiing most of the day (likely to be pooped, accident prone as a result and really just wanting to relax with a beer and good food).


I often fly into Venice and have skied most resorts in the area.

Alleghe has a larger centre than the places in Zoldo Valley, a few nice restaurants and drinking holes, but still pretty quiet. Zoldo is slightly cheaper accommodation-wise, depending on distance to lifts.

Ski buses run regularly between Alleghe village/lifts and Marmolada base station. Buses to Cinque Torri run from Pescul on the N side of the Alleghe/Civetta ski area. With these two links you can do the Great War Tour clockwise or anti clockwise.

https://www.valgardenaskimap.com/en/grande-guerra (Alleghe is at the southern end of circuit. Anti-clockwise takes in spectacular 'Hidden Valley' run with the horse-tow at the bottom. Clockwise takes in the Marmolada)

You can also do a trip over to Falcade & Passo San Pellegrino from Alleghe, but you would need to drive as I don't think there is a bus service.

https://www.bergfex.com/passo-pellegrino-fassatal-falcade-trevalli/

Zoldo is less well-placed for options other than the Civetta ski area.

Another option of resort would be San Martino di Castrozza, slower road up, but small town in a spectacular setting.

If you wanted to ski Cortina proper, try San Vito di Cadore, it's a lot cheaper to stay and eat and an easy 15min drive up to Cortina.

I would say car hire is the best option for a short break and to have maximum flexibility. It's usually very cheap in Winter in N Italy, but winter tyres are hard to come by, they mostly have chains in the boot, though I've never had to mount them yet.
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ousekjarr wrote:
the modern conference centre is a bit ugly and out of proportion for such a small and remote spot.


I guess you mean the ice hockey arena, the conference centre is only a small part of the complex.

The Alleghesi are very proud of their team and its top class facility, esp now the lake doesn't freeze reliably in Winter!! wink
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Thanks again everyone - very useful.

Slightly different question. What is the Civetta area like for a family ski holiday (would be the first time skiing for my children - aged 10 and 6)? Clearly this would be a different trip. Is it a good area for children's ski schools, convenience, nursery areas etc?
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Pippo9 wrote:
Thanks again everyone - very useful.

Slightly different question. What is the Civetta area like for a family ski holiday (would be the first time skiing for my children - aged 10 and 6)? Clearly this would be a different trip. Is it a good area for children's ski schools, convenience, nursery areas etc?


My kids loved it, though they didn't do ski school there, so can't comment on that and whether good English instruction is available.

It is popular with Italian families and the Polish who tend to stay on the Zoldo side during their School holidays.

There is a beginner draglift and a small chairlift at Pian di Pezze, the mid mountain plateau area, up one gondola from Alleghe. There are some nice pitstops around here too. There are some nice progressor blues down from Col dei Baldi at the top.

https://www.bergfex.com/civetta/panorama/
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How long is the bus ride from Alleghe to the Marmolada cable car?
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sbooker wrote:
How long is the bus ride from Alleghe to the Marmolada cable car?


About 25 minutes. Here's last season's timetable. The ticket cost €4 if you bought it beforehand at the lift pass office, or €5 if bought on the bus (the ticket is also vaild for the return journey on the same day).
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Alastair Pink wrote:
sbooker wrote:
How long is the bus ride from Alleghe to the Marmolada cable car?


About 25 minutes. Here's last season's timetable. The ticket cost €4 if you bought it beforehand at the lift pass office, or €5 if bought on the bus (the ticket is also vaild for the return journey on the same day).


Only consider doing the Marmolada if it's a clear bluebird day, spectacular views from the viewing platform on top of the cablecar station and a long thigh burning red run down, but it's miserable up there if it's in the clouds or vis is poor.

You need to get there early (or leave it later) as queues can build up by around 10am at the base station.

The last bus stop (Padon chairlift) beyond the base station at Malga Ciapela also opens up the back door to Arabba.

That's assuming the bus service and all relevant lift infrastructure will be running this season with Covid!! Shocked Puzzled
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luigi wrote:
Alastair Pink wrote:
sbooker wrote:
How long is the bus ride from Alleghe to the Marmolada cable car?


About 25 minutes. Here's last season's timetable. The ticket cost €4 if you bought it beforehand at the lift pass office, or €5 if bought on the bus (the ticket is also vaild for the return journey on the same day).


Only consider doing the Marmolada if it's a clear bluebird day, spectacular views from the viewing platform on top of the cablecar station and a long thigh burning red run down, but it's miserable up there if it's in the clouds or vis is poor.

You need to get there early (or leave it later) as queues can build up by around 10am at the base station.

The last bus stop (Padon chairlift) beyond the base station at Malga Ciapela also opens up the back door to Arabba.

That's assuming the bus service and all relevant lift infrastructure will be running this season with Covid!! Shocked Puzzled


Good advice, although I'm pretty certain sbooker has done the Marmolada once before in good weather when he and his family were staying in Arabba. snowHead
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Marmolada is kind of a bucket list thing but nothing like as spectacular as much of the other routes in the area. The piste is windswept and busy and the view is panoramic but you're not up close to the majestic Dolomite towers so it feels a bit detached.
We once did Marmolada and the Great War ring in a day and Marmolada was this most uninteresting part of the day. You'd be far better off skiing over Civetta, getting the bus up to Cinque Torri, having play about there before doing the the rest of the Great War ring and seeing if you can get the final lift up Marmolada before you get the bus back to Alleghe.
The Ski Panorama over the back end of Val di Fassa is also incredible for views and quiet skiing. The lovely long black back into Alba is always deserted.
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Quote:

That's assuming the bus service and all relevant lift infrastructure will be running this season with Covid!! Shocked

It was all running as normal over the summer.

Quote:

Marmolada is kind of a bucket list thing but nothing like as spectacular as much of the other routes in the area.

The skiing may not be that special but the south face is. The rock climbs are a bit hard but the via ferrata is good.
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@Pippo9, Cortina would be an excellent choice.
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Cortina is seriously underrrated. Small capacity lifts means less crowded slopes.
There is some seriously tough piste and off-piste skiing. The food is wonderful and the town has everything - cinema etc. (If it's open)
And Cinque torri is like nowhere else in Europe. WE stayed and did a review of the refuge at the top there. Hot tub outside and the works. Had a brilliant time
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Quote:

And Cinque torri is like nowhere else in Europe. WE stayed and did a review of the refuge at the top there. Hot tub outside and the works. Had a brilliant time

Which refugio was that? We tend to stay at the scoiattoli. Basic but adequate
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Not been to Alleghe skiing just driven through but quite surprised no one suggested Corvara or Arabba. The former has bars and restaurants, both an easy drive from Venice, right on Sella Ronda, easily skiable to Cinque Torri and hidden valley, ski to Marmolada without needing a bus, ski the great war route, shortish drive to Cortina for a day out, easy to ski over to Val Gardena for lovely Ortisei. Bit more expensive though.
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@johnE, suspect it is the Averau - a very nice spot Smile -- (haven't noticed a hot tub tho'...)

https://www.rifugioaverau.it/en/
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@albob, We always seem to end up there for a beer after doing routes on the Averau. Is the Nuvalao hut open during the winter?
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I've only visited the area while skiing --

If the Nuvalao is the hutte I'm thinking of, I doubt the would be open during the skiing season ; bit of a hike in ski boots !

====

Every time I go to the Dolomites, I say to myself - "must visit in Summer" ; but never have.....
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I've seen parties on snowshoes walking up to Rif. Nuvolau during the winter. Not sure if it was usual opening or by prearrangement.
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Every time I go to the Dolomites, I say to myself - "must visit in Summer" ; but never have.....

Yes you must. See page 34 of this pdf for example https://rifugios.net/av1.pdf
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http://www.rifugioscoiattoli.it/
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richb67 wrote:
Not been to Alleghe skiing just driven through but quite surprised no one suggested Corvara or Arabba. The former has bars and restaurants, both an easy drive from Venice, right on Sella Ronda, easily skiable to Cinque Torri and hidden valley, ski to Marmolada without needing a bus, ski the great war route, shortish drive to Cortina for a day out, easy to ski over to Val Gardena for lovely Ortisei. Bit more expensive though.


Just a.bit further out
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@cameronphillips2000, I have stayed at the scoiattoli quite a bit but never noticed the hot tub. I suppose it is only there during the winter. About 3/4 of the people staying at the hut are on the Alta Via 1 long distance footpath. The rest of us are there to beat the hordes to the best climbs on the Cinque Torri.

Though it looks a long trek to the Rif. Nuvolau it is a suprisingly short walk from the Scoiattoli hut. In the summer many families take the lift up and then walk up to the Rif. Nuvolau for lunch. Walking up just as far a rifugio for lunch appears to be a very popular summer activity in the Dolomites
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Sitting out with a cold one, looking at the five towers in the moonlight is pretty cool.....
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Quote:

five towers

I'm not sure why it's called the Cinque Torri. There are actually 11 towers, I think. One fell down a couple of years ago. It's a great place to get started with Dolomite rock climbing and we often start our trips there to get aquainted with the rock. However, we didn't visit at all this year. It is very popular and gets crowded. The rock is also getting very polished.

I reccommend a walk around the trenches, gun placements etc. where the Italians fired across the pass at the Austrians on the Hexenstein. To us it appears a lovely winter playground but I would not have liked to be a poor Scillian stationed there during WWI
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