Sunday, March 24, 2013

A ski vacation

This winter we did for the first time one thing that we have wished to do for many years!
We went on holiday with some friends. For us it was great, not only because we really enjoy their company (and I hope they could stand ours) but also because we went to the Alps - which I love - and had the opportunity to experience some "winter sports".
Unfortunately, time flew and the logistic of having three kids with us didn't allow us to do all the things that we wished for, but maybe there will be other occasions?

We went to where I have always gone, in the Great St. Bernard's Valley, in the most north-west corner of Italy.
Our intentions were to pay a visit to the ski resort, Crevacol that is nearby and we managed to do it.
I didn't ski, I mainly took care of Isabella, while Mattias and our friends did ski in different extents.

The first day we went tough to the nordic ski tracks, where there is a "snow park", which was mainly designed for the kids. Despite that, we had also quite some fun since it was possible to do some sledding and other similar activities.
The place was equipped with some soft sleddings shaped like animals, more serious sleddings and bobsleigh as well as some rubber dinghy that one could use over a quite fast track.
Going up the hill

And down again

View of the valley
Looking up from the snowpark

This though was our warm up activity.
The other two days we went instead to the downhill tracks.
The place is divided in such a way that there is a "baby track" quite low in the valley and then there are the more serious tracks up on the mountain. We, the mothers, and the kids were down in the "baby track", while the two husbands had the chance to run down the hill a couple of times.
The baby track
From an Alp-top

The restaurant in the ski resort

What a view!

The lift
They both stated that they enjoyed the tracks, although not too many and not too fancy: but there was not too much people, the sun was shining and still, the view was great, according to them and the pictures.

Of course, we can't go anywhere without enjoying some nice meals out and here we didn't manage to fulfill all our plans. On the saturday, I had thought we could have dinner in Aosta, however all the restaurants were opening too late (19:30) for our nordic kids and with that in mind we went to one of the restaurants I have often visited when there: La Croix Blanche, in Etroubles.
The place has the same rustique atmosphere as always, but despite this it doesn't feel outdated.
The menu presents typical dishes from the area and also some more classical italian dishes, and in general, everything is very tasty and the portions good. Unfortunately, there is a lack of vegetarian dishes (as in most of Italy) as well as fish dishes, which is partially justifiable by the fact that of course, meat is a main ingredient in the alpin food.
If the Crespelle alla Valdostana is my favourite primo, one must enjoy the mixed grilled on the stone that is the specialty of this restaurant. Meat and vegetables (and fruit) are grilled on a big stone in the middle of the restaurant, then, a small "plate" of stone with the ordered quantity is brought to the table. The stone is still hot so one can still "cook" his own meat.
It is a very simple way of cooking, but still very tasty and it is somehow surprising to know how nice a grilled apple taste ;-)
That evening, me and Mattias ate whatever was possible to ate (we were indeed very hungry) compensating our daughter which was instead overtired (and hence didn't eat anything). We hope that despite the long evening (thanks also to the fact that we ordered 700 dishes) our friends enjoyed the dinner (also despite the lack of a nice fish dish!).

We left for Gallarate/Sweden possibly too soon to experience everything: we didn't even manage to buy some speciality of the area. But hopefully, I will manage to bring to our friends all the things I have mentioned and blabbed about (e.g. some nice piece of toma or a bottle of genepy, a liquor made with juniper). And even better, I hope there will be some other occasion in the future to repeat some similar experience :)

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