PIEDMONT, ITALY

COLD NIGHTS IN THE PIEDMONT, FEBRUARY 2016

Going skiing is usually connected to luxury: eating hearty comfort food and spending warm nights in wooden chalets. My flatmate and me tried to take a different perspective on it. Our goal was to travel and sleep in his old Renault Clio for one week, while enjoying our days on sunny ski slopes and mountains ridges going snow shoeing.

The Italian region Piedmont was our planned destination. Located on the French border, it was perfectly accessible from our starting point Grenoble, where we spent a weekend skiing with friends. At the same time the Piedmont region is famous for its deserted villages where we could find enough space to park our car over night. After we said goodbye to our friends, we packed our duffels and set off.

The first night sleeping in the car was fine. We were woken up by the sun, which warmed us quickly. But as soon as we crossed from the sunny valley of Oulx to the shady valley of Sestriere, we knew it wouldn’t always be like that. The following night, as we started cooking our meal on our tiny gas stove, it started snowing. Sitting outside in the dark night, wrapped in all our clothes, eating some pasta and drinking local wine, it was magical. Even though it was freezing, we spend the night talking, drinking and sharing our thoughts and ideas. Benoît eventually got out his fire poi and started dancing. So memorable.

After several frosty nights, it was time for our final day of skiing. By that time, our energy level was so low, because we were constantly fighting against the cold. After the initial excitement of another day on the slopes wore off, I realised that I couldn’t feel my feet in my ski boots anymore. I stopped skiing immediately and went into a chalet to warm them up. I sat in the chalet for one hour trying to bring some life back to my blue, wet and cold feet. Eventually, I could go back on the slopes. It was an epic week, but I realised it was time to go. Back to some comfort and warmth.