Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Santa Cristina Valgardena Travel Blog› entry 4 of 15 › view all entries
Predictably everybody here awoke to a blanket of snow covering everywhere, in some places really quite thick, soft and spongy underfoot, as all newly laid snow should feel. There was still an eerie sort of mist skulking in the valley, but the sun was endeavouring to make an appearance sometime soon. The other guests which had by now appeared consisted of a Polish couple, a German family and two Italian men. The Poles only spoke their own language and English, but on the whole everybody kept pretty much to themselves during breakfast, and I seemed to be the only one that even greeted anybody when they arrived. The sun did eventually break through and I enjoyed a very pleasant amble along the forest tracks into St. Christina, the next town along the valley, arriving during Italian ‘siesta’ time so many places were closed until later, but I didn’t mind, I had another pleasant return journey to look forward to.
The only thing that soured it slightly was that there was a stream of water running down the main street in St. Christina and many drivers seemed to have the annoying habit of driving straight through this at speed splashing anybody unfortunate enough to be on the nearby pavement. I repeatedly observed a number of people hurriedly attempting to jump out of the way as a car sped by, and was forced to do so myself with monotonous regularity. Note to self; I must remember to pack my waterproof clothing next time I visit.
This was more than compensated though by the crisp, frosty air and unspoilt views almost everywhere. The Val Gardena might be on the edge of the Dolomites so to speak, but it still has some pretty impressive rock walls surrounding it. Everything looked remarkably pristine and unblemished under its winter coat, and although this was a low level walk it had an unmistakably Alpine feel to it. I tried to detour up higher on the way back but I was forced in the end to escape down the nursery ski slopes into the town, as the track fizzled out into a white blankness. I was not equipped for this so reverted to the fair weather adventurer and beat a hasty retreat.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat, a focaccia with brie and ham I think, I headed back to Pension to finish off my bottle of vino rosso and contemplate the day, maybe whilst enjoying one of the Cuban cigars I had brought along with me.