Italy: First Day on the Slopes

Day 3

After days of anticipation, we were finally ready to hit the slopes!

We woke up at 7 and enjoyed an incredible breakfast buffet at the hotel. This was seriously the best breakfast spread I have ever experienced in my life. There was a muesli, dried fruit, and nut area with bowls of anything you could ever want. I enjoyed their homemade apple muesli with flax seeds, walnuts, prunes, almonds, and other goodies every morning. They also had a table with various homemade jams and nutella as well as a table stocked with pastries, breads, and toast. To top it off, you could get freshly squeezed orange juice, espresso, coffee, or tea. HEAVEN.

After stuffing ourselves silly, we met our ski instructor at 8:30am. We had all signed up for a 2 hour ski class to go over the basics. The last time Peter and I skied (and snowboarded) was 5 years ago while Peter’s mom had not been skiing for almost 15 years!

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Our instructor was great and really helped refresh my memory. I was really not half bad!

After kicking around the bunny slopes for a while, our instructor took us up the gondola to the big kid slopes. Val Gardena really doesn’t have any green slopes, only blue and black, so we were immediately confronted with a challenging and steep run.

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However, the view was just amazing. At the top of the gondola you can see for miles and miles. The Dolomites really are a spectacular sight. Val Gardena is also surrounded by massive walls of rock that jut from the earth and block out the sun for most of the day. This means it stays pretty cold but is breathtakingly beautiful.

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After a midday break, Peter and I went off to ski by ourselves for the rest of the afternoon. We were out until 3:30pm when we decided to head back to the hotel. It took us forever to traverse across the mountain, walk through the town, and take the lift back to the bunny slopes. The Italians are not very good at planning ski slopes in a coherent and efficient way so there was no easy way back to where we started.

Lots of trial and error later (and my convincing Peter that we can ski in to our hotel, not walk!!!), we finally arrived at our hotel at 4:30pm. We were exhausted and absolutely starving.

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So we did what any exhausted and hungry skiers in Italy do… eat bread and cheese with espresso shots!

Our hotel has this little cafe where we ordered two sandwich dishes. First we enjoyed a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich on baguette.  Then the waitress brought out this enormous hunk of focaccia bread covered with thick slabs of mozzarella and tomatoes. It was ridiculously large and was instantly devoured. To help with digestion, I downed an espresso shot. Delizioso!

Stuffed and happy, we chilled in the hotel’s amazing spa which has an indoor heated pool and lounge area as well as steam room and sauna. We passed out in the warm room with our bathing suits and robes and took a little nap.

Then it was time for dinner! Our hotel serves an amazing 3-course meal every evening, so we dressed up and came down for another delicious meal that lasted probably 2 hours. Then we went straight to bed!

Wow. We spent an entire day skiing and eating good food.

I love Italy.


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