Breuil-Cervinia Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
The week leading up to my first ski trip while living in Italy was filled with all kinds of questions and anticipation. Anticipation because I realized that I was extremely close to fulfilling a life-long dream of mine, which was to ski in the Alps. However, more importantly were the 101,000 questions that were flying through my mind all week, the most important being: did I have all of my ski equipment ready, and was I physically ready to spend a full day skiing alongside of Monte Cervino? Every time I asked myself the latter of these two questions, I always tried to reassure myself by saying: "don't worry, Chad, you're young, and it hasn't been THAT long since you've been in the gym.
Anyway, it was before sunrise on Sunday morning when my friend Nicola picked me up. I took all of my brand new ski equipment to his BMW, hopped in, and off we went, to spend an entire Sunday skiing in the mountains that I had only read about in ski magazines while growing up. Even though I was hardly able to sleep the night before, somehow I found myself extremely awake and ready for a day filled with sun, crisp mountain air, and snow-covered mountains.
We ended up arriving at Cervinia around 9 a.
Now, please keep in mind that this was going to be my first time skiing in over 8 years, and that I was getting ready to ski with brand-new ski equipment. Brand new everything: new skiis, new top-of-the-line boots (which ultimately made skiing that much more uncomfortable), a new jacket, new ski pants, you name it, and if it was with me on that day, it was new. You see, I had taken an 8-year absence from skiing, thanks partly to college and party to living in a terrible location for skiing in the U.S. prior to moving here to Italy. Ok, thanks mostly to college, where I felt it was more important to party every weekend for four years instead of driving for an hour every Saturday to go skiing.
But I digress.
After resting for a while at the bottom of Monte Cervino, Nicola and I decided to take the lift to the observation platform on the top of the Matterhorn (or Monte Cervino, in Italian). So, after taking a gondola up to the Matterhorn, then taking an elevator inside of the Matterhorn up to the first viewing level, and then climbing about 75 metal steps, I finally made it to the top of the Matterhorn, even though I averted passing out roughly 13 separate times on the way up the stairs. Once I caught my breath (which was hard to do, since the oxygen 12,000+ feet above sea level is so ridiculously thin), I was able to score some great photos and some great views of the surrounding mountains. After I totally calmed down did I realize how amazing everything was from that viewing platform.....and this is when I started to notice the throb coming from my right ankle.
Nicola and I then descended the stairs, took the elevator back down inside of the Matterhorn, collected our skiis, and then made the decision to start skiing back toward the car. This was when I realized that I had a serious problem....my right ankle was rapidly swelling in my ski boot, thanks to it never healing properly after being severely sprained on two separate occasions. I honestly had to ski, then stop, ski, then stop, ski, then stop, all the way to a random wooden cabin, that sat in the middle of the Alps and served lunch to skiiers on their way back into Cervinia. Which is just what the doctor ordered. So Nicola and I took yet another break for some sausages, polenta, and a great wintertime alcoholic drink called a "bombardino."
After we finished our afternoon lunch in the Alps, it was only a short distance before we reached the parking lot and the car. We took off our ski gear, loaded it back into the car, then went wandering around the town of Breuil-Cervinia (I was limping around and not wandering around, thanks a lot, right ankle). I bought some souvenirs, took a few final pictures of the town and the mountains, and off we went to return in time to get some rest before Monday morning came rolling around.
Now please don't misunderstand me, that is, of course, if you've managed to read all the way to the bottom of this particular blog. Even though I was totally out-of-shape, the smile on my face never left throughout the whole day. I had ideas of grandeur about my skiing performance being something that Warren Miller would pay money to film, but even though I was grossy wrong in that respect, I still managed to have one of the greatest ski experiences of my whole entire life. I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to heading back up into the mountains sometime this coming winter, but of course only after I make sure I'm in better physical condition! I've learned my lesson, that's for sure!