My parents are here in Italy visiting this week. They watched the last three days of the Tour de Ski, and now we are taking a short vacation. I am so glad to have them here and to see them. I am taking advantage of them being here by asking them to do my laundry. They are very generous to do it. They sat at the laundromat for hours on Sunday afternoon and delivered me a duffel bag full of clean and folded clothes. I am spoiled!
My teammates generally take several days off of skiing after the Tour. Last year I was too ambitious with training after my first Tour. I didn’t fully recover for the races two weeks later. This year I am taking this short vacation, so I won’t be skiing for several days. I think it will be a really good break for me. Before I left the mountains yesterday I went for a short ski to move around with Women’s coach Matt Whitcomb. It was a beautiful day.
There was a junior race happening in the stadium.
So, Matt and I headed down the Marcialonga trail which was part of our race course on Sunday. Unfortunately they hadn’t groomed when we first got on it, and the massive ruts from Sunday’s race were frozen solid. It was some of the worst skiing I’ve done all year, but it was good balance training.
We both managed to stay on our feet. Here’s Matt:
We skied further down the valley than either of us had ever been. The Marcialonga trail, which is used for the Marcialonga Ski Marathon early next month, is the biggest snow-farming operation I’ve ever seen. They truck in SEVENTY KILOMETERS of snow. The views down the valley were pretty cool. We definitely spent more time looking around than skiing.
Eventually the groomer passed us. Matt had fun laying down fresh tracks.
There are cool castles in the Fiemme Valley.
Here’s a picture Matt took of me:
We skied under the Alpe Cermis Gondola:
We passed the snow cat again on our way up the valley. The skiing was perfect.
Here’s Matt enjoying the sun:
After skiing, my parents and I packed up and headed south. We stopped at a gas station several hours from the mountains, and there was an advertisement for the Nordic World Junior Championships which will happen in Val di Fiemme in a couple weeks. I couldn’t believe it.
On the poster was none-other than my teammate Kris Freeman in a picture from last year’s World Championships (which were also in Val di Fiemme).
My parents and I drove to La Spezia on Italy’s West coast. The sunset driving in was spectacular.
In La Spezia we parked the car and got on a train to the tiny town of Vernazza. Vernazza is part of Cinque Terre or “Five Lands”. It is a rugged portion of coast that is all but inaccessible by car. I’m psyched to be back on public transit.
The train station here in Vernazza is incredible. It is thirty meters long scrunched between two tunnels. I’m going to try to get better pictures of it today. Here’s our train pulling out of the station:
Walking to our hotel we saw this very stereotypical Italian Police Car.
This town seems amazing, but it is completely dead right now. We caught it in the heart of their off season.
We walked down to the Mediterranean.
Here are my parents checking out a tiny church:
I am so excited to explore today. I’m sure I’ll get some cool pictures.