Well we’re starting to finally bring our blog site closer to up-to-date status. This entry covers our trip through Europe with the Valentis.
As per our previous blog entry, we’ll let the photos do the main talking, but we’ll give you a little taste of the trip here.
We started our journey in Paris, where Donna and I met up with my whole family mid December. We proceeded to spend 8 days there shopping, sight-seeing, eating, drinking and more shopping ;)
While I know people give Parisians a bad rap, and I have experienced some rude ones in my travels there, I think we can all say we had a great time there. Perhaps it was the festive season, or the fact that we were all back together again, including partners, but we had an absolute ball there. Some of the restaurants we found were just fantastic, the highlight being our xmas lunch - the food, service, company (we were joined by our close family friends, the Hewitts) combined brilliantly to leave us all very satisfied.
From Paris we headed to Rome, which was an interesting experience – what with bags getting temporarily lost by airlines and colds running through our group , we actually only spent a few days of the week fully out and about. I think we found that Rome had a bit of sameness about it, which was probably highlighted by the fact that we had just left from Paris, which, being such a huge city, has a real variety of flavours about it from one Arrondisement to the next. I think most of us felt that Rome had become very very touristy.
From Rome we headed to Casazza in the North of Italy, where Dad’s family hails from. There we spent a week absolutely stuffing our faces with authentic Italian food, and meeting so many relatives we had to start writing their names down ;)
After 4 days of huge lunches and dinners, we took a couple of day trips, on to the nearby town of Lovore, and one to the main city, Bergamo. While Lovore didn’t offer much to write home about, Bergamo was, and undoubtedly still is, sensational! We spent the day walking around the main town and the elevated old town, which is just beautiful! We also enjoyed one of the best meals we’ve ever had at a little bar restaurant on the way up to the old town.
All too quickly we were saying goodbye to the family, and boarding the train to Garmisch Parten-Kirchen in Germany for our skiing adventure.
We arrived in Garmisch on a crisp afternoon, after having been up at about 4am to catch our train. So naturally we were hungry and tired, and so some of us headed to a little pizzeria near our hotel. Donna and I ordered a family size, thinking it would be good for two of us, as the pizza sizes seem to be very small in the Germanic world. But boy were we wrong! The pizza was a monster! But we defeated it nonetheless ;)
It was at this stage that we met our friends the Schenbergs, who we took skiing lessons with.
That afternoon, tired and ready for bed, we met Rob, our ski instructor, who whizzed us around the town to get ski gear ready for our four day ski class starting the next day.
Sunday came and it was on! We slipped and slid and fell our way across the flat beginner’s area, but had great fun all the way. Most of the highlights revolve around crashes, little tykes making us feel particularly pathetic and good beer, wurst and schnitzelss after each lesson ;)
Having said all that, by the end of the 4 days, we were doing pretty [email protected] well, ending our time on the slopes with a long ski down from the top of a decent sized mountain to the bottom. We were all very proud of ourselves :-)
While skiing was the main part of our Garmisch week, we also enjoyed massive schnitzels and steaks at various restaurants and pubs around the town, and also arguably the best Indian we’ve ever had…Yes, Indian! It was so good, we ended up going twice during the week!
Most of us also took the time to walk through Partnachklamm Gorge, a wonder of ice, water and rock.
All too soon, it was time to head back to Zurich, but luckily we got to bring the family with us for a week, so we had the opportunity to show off our adopted city to them, and squeeze 7 people into a 2 bedroom apartment ;)
So there you have it folks, the heavily abridged version of the Valenti family’s European extravaganza.
With any luck, our latest short trips will find their way onto the blog really soon.
Love to you all,
Kai and Donna xo