It has been a while since my last post as things have been quite busy here! Any down time I have I've spent translating lesson plans or spontaneously napping! I realized this morning I've only really been here for two weeks so still having some sleep transitions is excusable. I noticed a small detail that will excite my friends - the door on my bedroom has a familiar face!
In addition, I got this little box from my host-brother asking if I would play futbol with him, and my obviously response already drawn in, 'yes!'
Yesterday in Saliceto I had my lesson where I had to each about the US Government to a class of 8th grade students, who know little english, with a teacher who speaks to english. It went better than I thought. I translated my lesson plan to italian, and would say the different part in english slowly, and then in italian. Aside from a few untranslatable terms it was really successful!
Last weekend we embarked on a journey to Cervinia aka, the Matterhorn! It was a two and a half hour drive from our town, so we loaded up the car to the max and set out! We had some rain storms on the way and I was quite entertained by the number of castles we passed on the highway. They were all different shapes and sizes but all stood out like beacons high on the mountainsides glowing in the night.
When we got to the village below Cervinia I was informed that our drive to the apartment was about a half hour driving up the mountain. We have big mountains in the US, but I really couldn't comprehend the sheer size of the mountain we were going to. At the first turn we saw a mini 3-D replica of the Matterhorn, perhaps 15 feet tall by 20 feet across, even that was quite beautiful!
We started the climb up and for those who've not been to Italy, or regions with steel hills, the only roads are long traverses, snaking back and forth across the mountainside. Mixed with speed, this could be a recipe for car sickness! Luckily, I was all set and was able to enjoy the ride. About ten minutes up we came upon a light snow storm which grew with intensity the higher we climbed. I couldn't see very much due to the snow, and the time of night. After many tunnels and steep hills we happened upon some beautifully lit streets, and then darkness, and another small village. We passed through a few more until we were up as high as we could drive. Here we drove down into the cellar for the apartment and got out suitcases up in a cargo elevator. Then we headed out to dinner!
It was a beautiful little restaurant truly fit for the Alps. After a wonderful meal and a small glimpse of the village we headed back for the night as it was already 11PM. I could only see the main ski slope near us in the morning as it was snowing heavily. I was assured that the mountain was much bigger than my current view would suggest. We instead decided to go to the spa for the afternoon, and wow. It was wonderful. I don't think I've ever been to a real spa but I imagine it to be like this one! When you arrive they give you a robe, slippers and a fluffy towel and bring you to a very stylist locker room.
It had a pool, grand hot tub, this interesting hot/cold bath situation, a constellation lit waterbed room with soft music, chairs to sleep in lit with a dark blue light, a dry sauna, hot sauna, and really steamy hot sauna as well as any combination of cooling down one could imagine. There was even an indoor water wheel with intermittent hot and cold water, as well as a shaved ice dispenser. Dispersed throughout there were various hot showers, food and drink tables and as I found the hard way, a cold water downpour room. I went into what I thought was a normal shower only to find that the button didn't seem to work. I stood there for a minute looking at the spout on the ceiling only to realize in horror that the whole ceiling opened and poured dozens of gallons or freezing cold water on me.
|The sleep chairs with waterbeds in the last room.|
|The pool, hot tubs etc.|
That night we were happily join by some family friends Valerio, Stefano and Asia (pronounced Aziah) for dinner at a very, very remote, gorgeous restaurant somewhere in the Alps! Per usual Italian food, it was all SO DELICIOUS. Both dinners I had there made me want to contemplate death by exploding because I felt that I ate so much but couldn't help it one bit. Asia, if you hadn't noticed is not a human, but in fact a beautiful dog who joined us and some other tables for dinner. After we were invited to see the wine and cheese cellars which were extraordinary in their structures and collections. We then traversed back down and up to our apartment were we slept a good night for the long day of skiing ahead!
|Simone, Asia, and Valerio|
|Francesca and Asia|
|Asia's beautiful scarf|
Upon waking in the morning (I woke up early to peek out at the mountain) I was stunned at the view! Even though the clouds had not cleared yet I could see the mountains rose literally miles above us and the sun had yet to come over the tops.
|View from the apartment window|
|Looks a bit fake right??|
|The Matterhorn from the little gondola.|
|The tiny specs in the distance are the massive gondolas.|
|View going up!|
|Spectacular view of the Alps!|
|Lore and I|
We had lunch at a restaurant only accessible by ski, which is were I realized I was getting a goggle tan/burn, and that my shins and calves felt as though the hulk himself had them in a vice grip. Despite all better judgement I loosened my boots all the way and headed back up to the top!
|Francesca and Lorenzo|
|Simone and Daniele|
After packing up and heading out I came back to the realization of how high we were as the decent did a number on my ears. At the bottom of the mountain drive I saw these odd slides on the hill and was told that they were the areas form of hydroelectric power. Very neat!
|The goldola to Chamois|
|Very cute little village|
I've got some other neat trips in the works! Hope all is well where ever you may be! Ciao!