More on the “Sun Kissed” SlopesPosted: February 1, 2011
This is Antonio’s 4th holiday in La Villa and 2 years ago we both spent 3 weeks here, skiing virtually every day. In all that time, this is our first time without an instructor or guide. One of the best things about having a guide is that you do not have to think twice about which way you are going or how to get home. Now we are trying to find our own way around with the use of a 2 dimensional map that is hard enough to determine East from West let alone up from down. And there is a lot of up and down, and Easts and Wests for that matter!!!
Still, we are pretty proud of how we are managing, thanks mainly to, you guessed it, more “sun kissed” slopes and great visibility. If someone told me they had been skiing in two weeks of sunshine, at best, I would think they were exaggerating!!!
Alas, I digress. We are having a great day and have made our way to the other side of La Villa. As we ski off the chair lift, 2200 meters above sea level, we can hear church bells peeling. Here we find the sweetest church I have ever seen, the sheer beauty of its location inspires notions of a greater being. Its the church of Santa Croce and we are just in time for the midday bells. Parchments have been found that date the church back to 1484. Named in honor of Jesus on the Cross, the church has drawn pilgrims from all over Europe, and still does. A hospice/refugio was built to accommodate the pilgrims around 500 years ago. The refugio still operates as a restaurant and small hotel.
The ski runs here are brilliant for me, a little challenging in spots but generally wide enough and unpopulated enough for me to traverse with wide sweeping curves………………(in my dreams!). At least I can make my way down in not too shabby a fashion. My patient husband waits at various spots just to make sure I am still coming down, and speeds off when I wave my stock in “AllClear!” Its not quite Mario and Edwards pace for Tony anymore, and between all us, I think he prefers it! He gets to be the big fish in my very small pond.!
I have mentioned the mountain food is good, hearty, rustic and traditional. Today we have really scored. Antonio has ordered a dish that’s has the flavors of what he would cook at home, and I know I have been missing his home cooking. Its chunks of luscious pork ribs, seamed with just the right amount of fat to keep the meat full of flavor. Polenta and fried potatoes are the only accompaniment needed to sop up the delicious taste of the pan juices.
For all of you who might be concerned about how cold it is in our campervan at the snow, I may not have mentioned that we have a hotel room for two weeks at the divine, Ciasa Lara, (www.ciasalara.it) and it would be remiss of me to talk about food and not mention the food here. Its a little gold mine. We have the same table at dinner every evening, any half drunk bottles of wine are waiting for Antonio to finish. The food is not rustic, more “Nuvo” with rather small portions. As we are talking a 6 course dinner every night, that’s a good thing. The variety each evening is amazing, and every dish, overseen by Rosa, is a work of art.
Thank heavens we can ski our hearts out. I am hoping an average of 20 kilometers each day, deletes the unspeakable amount of kilos we consume! As I ski for safety, not speed, I’m counting on burning extra energy by putting on the brakes at almost every turn ………..and I do a lot of them!!!!!
Following photos courtesy of Birgit. Thanks Birgit!