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Day 5 – Taking It Easy (12/31/07) January 13, 2008

Posted by Q in Friends, Travel, Wharton.

After the near death experience, I took today easy. My shoulder was still hurting quite a bit. I had some mobility last night, but stiffness set in overnight.

I hung out with Elisabetta Sofia, one of the Italians, who does not ski at all so she wasn’t missing much by taking me around to get my shoulder checked out. We went to the ambulatorio (like a mini emergency room), but it cost something like €65 just to see the doctor. My shoulder wasn’t hurting that bad. I took some ibuprofen and sucked it up.

There was some confusion as to where everyone was meeting for lunch, but two trips on the ski bus and one bubble lift later we meet everyone on one of the peaks. ES and I weren’t equipped with skis so we had to navigate a mini slope in our regular shoes. It was not my best idea to wear sneakers and ankle socks. Halfway down the hill I hit a soft spot and sunk down to my knee is snow 🙂

On the way up I noticed a lot of smoke coming from what I thought was someone’s chimney. At the top of the mountain I could still see the smoke. Someone said that a famous hotel, Des Alpes, was actually on fire. On the ride back down we could see the smoke rising from the valley. Walking by the hotel was kind of surreal. It wasn’t a raging blaze, but it was a steady fire that burned for about 12 hours. The place was old and made of wood and brick. I was kind of sad to look at the place. Apparently it was a historical place as well. A German Emperor, or someone, used to stay in the wing that caught on fire.

It was also noted that were was a big party planned there as tonight was New Year’s Eve. Des Alpes had a disco. A similar fire broke out at the only other disco in the town the night before a big celebration a couple months back. …hmmmm.

For New Year’s, we had dinner at the hotel. It was early for Italians who normally have dinner over midnight then go out. We finished up dinner around 10:30ish and spent and hour getting organized to go out. We landed at the bar on the bank of the frozen lake in the middle of the valley. It was kinda fun. It was not as wild as a US party by any means. The countdown was unofficial and the celebration was mostly champagne toast, hugs and exchanges of “auguri!” There were all kinds of unofficial fireworks and firecrackers (its a wonder no one got hurt!).

Happy (obviously belated) New Year!



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