Despite leaving with plenty of time to spare after Evie’s first nap at 10am for a 2.5 hour drive to Cervinia, another crazy travel day of no sleep and stress ensued.
One bright note was stopping in a very small Italian village where Craig and Thea were treated to a horse and cart ride around the town. They were preparing the town for the annual carnevale which is the start of the easter period of lent.
It didn’t help that we were all also very tired from the previous few days. I had been quite looking forward to arriving in Cervinia after everything I had heard from Craig about the Matterhorn and Zermatt side of the ski field. Unfortunately it was actually a bit disappointing.
It had been unseasonably warm over the last week in Italy and of course that meant that there hadn’t been any snow. In fact in Cervinia there hadn’t been snow for 12 days by the time we arrived. Instead of picturesque snow covered roof tops and piles of fresh white snow, we were greeted with icy, dirty and very stale snow. The view was still stunning of course, but didn’t really compare to the winter wonderland we’d experienced in Austria.
After a long and stressful drive it didn’t help that our host’s directions weren’t accurate and there was no one to let us into our apartment.
When we finally sorted it out and got in, my heart sank. The kind cleaning lady explained that it was poco, poco (small) and I saw what she meant. The Air BnB listing had vastly over exaggerated the size of the attic apartment we’d rented. It didn’t have a separate standing room mezzanine as I thought, but instead we had to climb a ladder and crawl into the sleeping space which was also open to the kitchen and living space. There was no way we were going to be able to rock or comfort Evie up there.
Having arrived so late in the evening, we hurriedly tried to make the best of the space available by rigging our trusty black cloth across a portion of the living space for Evie. We also messaged our host about sheets for the couch bed as upstairs were only two single beds made up for us. By the time we got dinner and our over tired kids into bed we were both overwrought.
We managed to make the toilet into a TV viewing space, and then headed for bed.
Unfortunately night didn’t go any better with Thea being up most of the night crying with night terrors.
Our sleep is always on a knife edge of only just enough with our two little darlings so a night like this on top of an insanely busy last few days was not good.
It all seemed pretty dismal.
We were booked in for 5 nights here at $190NZ each night and we felt ripped off. The snow wasn’t that good, the apartment was just awful and we hadn’t had any sleep. Thankfully (praise Jesus) after a quick check of the cancellation policy I discovered that we could probably recover at least 50% of what we’d already paid and change our reservation.
I found a little one bedroom apartment in another small town called Brusson about an hour’s drive away. Even better it was only $75NZD per night.
Feeling better now we’d only have to stay two nights in the shoe, we headed for the supermarket for supplies. It was a very warm and sunny day in Cervinia and we decided that we should all make the most of it and buy some passes to go to the top of the mountain. We bought lift passes so that Thea and Craig could ski, while Evie and I went up on sightseeing passes.
It was so cool up the mountain. Craig taught Thea how to use a button or pommel lift on her own and the two of them skied down a blue run together! I was beyond impressed at the progress Thea has made in such a short time.
After a tasty lunch we took the gondolas all the way to the top. It was very windy and cold up there but the view was pretty spectacular.
By the time we got to the top it was almost time for the last gondola to the bottom, we quickly hopped on it. Evie and I left Thea and Craig at Plain Maison which was the first stop from the gondola at the base of the mountain. They decided that they were going to ski to the bottom along a long blue run. We met them at the bottom after an hour, and they were both pretty tired.
A quick dinner at home and then we managed to get both girls to sleep on the mezzanine. Win!
The next morning we packed up our apartment quickly while Evie had her first nap and then headed for the mountain again for the first part of the day. I decided that I should take my skis up too so I could give it a try. The lady at the ticket office was super lovely and only made us pay for a spectator pass and one lift ticket which saved us 32 Euro. She figured only one of us could ski at a time so why pay for two lift passes?
Thea was quite exhausted from the day before so while she succeeded at her run down the mountain with Craig, my run down with her was not quite as successful. She fell off the pommel halfway up, and then continued to topple down most of the run. Unfortunately this meant that I had to get in and out of my skis to put her back up again and by the time we were 5 metres from the bottom of the run, we’d both had enough. I handed her over to Craig and took Evie for her nap. Craig and Thea took the chairlift for the first time, and got down the blue run after about 45 minutes.
Thea was really, really tired so we decided that lunch at the restaurant was in order. A half chicken, stack load of french fries, pasta and some salad later we headed down the mountain ready to start our drive to Brusson. Evie was rubbing her eyes as we finally packed the last of the snow gear into the car, and we prayed that she’d sleep on the way after a feed and new nappy.
Once again we were wrong. Thea actually slept but Evie did not.
After driving for 45 minutes we reached a Conad supermarket just before the entry to the Autostrade. So we fed her again, got our and wandered around Conad getting our dinner while Evie slumbered in the front pack. Car trips aren’t exactly our favourite part of this holiday and I am most certain they are Evie’s least enjoyable time too.
We finally got to our new apartment after a windy and narrow drive about 5.45pm. Our kindly host met us and showed us around. It was gorgeous, a stone building with views out to the mountains.
We were a little late getting the girls into bed, but were just so grateful to have an actual bedroom that it didn’t even matter.
More on Brusson on later, for now Ciao!