Out of the blue, Douglas and I received a wonderful invitation, Crystalski asked us to write about the Val Di Fassa, a dramatic valley in the stunning Italian Dolomites where we spent our honeymoon.
Result!! We were asked to relate our adventures as empty nesters, compared to our honeymoon and our experiences skiing with our children when they were younger, to the Sunday Post, where I am delighted to be a regular travel correspondent. I described deliberately getting to the lifts at 10am after a leisurely breakfast to miss the lift queue. This would have been unthinkable when our children were little – a leisurely breakfast would have taken them 5 seconds – they were not interested in coffees. Both our children were slightly bored on a skiing holiday if they were not actually tearing down a mountain. Lunch was often in a gondola or a picnic on the side of the piste. They didn’t really like sitting still in cafes. Well its all changed now. After a few hours skiing it was definitely lunchtime for me and Doug, if not home time. We would seek out a quiet restaurant and thoroughly enjoy waiting for the waiter to spot us – no hurry!We stayed in the beautiful Hotel Rubino Executive and when we got back, we would rip off our ski gear and don a robe and flip flops and slip down to the gorgeous wellness centre in the lift and enjoy the pool, the hot tub, sauna and steam room. I would take a book.Dinner was four courses, a salad starter, followed by a warm starter then a main course and a selection of sweets from a buffet. Quite a feast, we loved sampling local specialities, here the manager was making apple flambé – delicious.One day it snowed heavily and we could see the visibility at the top was bad – there were no tears though – in fact we were quite pleased (dreadful I know!) Rather unromantically, Doug would have been devastated to take a day off skiing during our honeymoon – changed days!We went for an amazing walk through the forest to the next village and loved watching the Nordic skiers – we definitely need to try this beautiful sport.Our top day was completing the whole Sella Ronda – no mean feat actually – almost all red runs with a bit of walking, at one point you are carrying your skis across a glass footbridge, but an exhilarating achievement!Our Crystal Rep, John Mancini Johnstone, a fellow Scot from Peterculter, pictured below, skis in a kilt. If you spot him and want a photo, he asks that you donate a Euro to Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK). He was a goldmine of information on cafes and restaurant and ski routes, having lived in the area for years and made his home here in Italy.We followed his advice to the letter and I have to say we felt at home too and can’t wait to come back!
Thank you to everyone at Crystal Ski Holidays
And to everyone at Mambo Ski Hire, who were brilliant!