After our day of turkey, presents and chocolate, we needed to get up and out and back up the mountain. Luca recommended Caspoggio, a small town on a mountain to the East, a short drive – it would have child friendly toboggan slopes and an ice rink. We drove out in convoy, across the river then up into the town.
Caspoggio sits on the north face of the mountain, and against the clear blue skies of the morning everything was in a cold and dark shade. We parked, and found the hill with friendly slopes – it was closed while a machine was pumping out snow onto it.
Like on Christmas Eve, Conway was unsettled and didn’t want to be out in the snow. He refused to put on his coat, “I’m not cold”, he said, standing there in his jumper while everyone else has jumpers, coats, hats, gloves. And I carried him. After half an hour we gave up and changed plans. We dropped Samantha and Conway off at the Airbnb and the rest of us headed back out to Valmalenco Ski Resort.
We parked at the Funivia Snow Eagle cable car, and took the vertigo inducing journey up the steep steep incline. High above the town and valley we rose. The sudden changes in air pressure wouldn’t be good for Samantha, who’s 6 months pregnant. The four of us, in our coats and walking boots, were surrounded by all the day’s skiers, high-vis jackets, brightly coloured ski coats, ski boots and skis – we felt a little out of place. At the top I put my head out over the top of the cable car station, and looked straight down.
The cable car arrives at Valmalenco ski resort, which is part of Palu Park. We shuffled across the snow in our boots as people flung themselves down the slopes with great speed. From the cable car there’s another car that takes you down to the main resort, where the ski-hire shops, toilets and cafes live.
Amanda hired a toboggan, and Mitch pushed her down a friendly slope, while Heather and I ate croissants, chips and drank espresso outside in the warm winter sunshine.
Palu Park is meant to have a beautiful alpine lake, and from the slopes there’s a short walk to get to it, if only we could find it. The maps all suggested you needed to ski there. We tried what looked like a little path in the right direction, we crossed the slopes and dodged all the flying skis to get to it. Through the forest we smushed through the snow and stopped for snow angels. The route brought us to some chalets and a bar, and some more slopes, but no lake. Ah well, it was probably all frozen and covered in snow anyway.
The cable car back down was all the more cramped, and I was happy we hadn’t squished a toddler and a pregnant woman in here with us. A girl was on her way down on a stretcher too.
Back at home we fried up all the Christmas vegetables and left over turkey to make bubble and squeak, which we introduced to Mitch. “Bubble and squeak?”, yeah, that’s the noise it makes while you cook it.