04 March 2011

The End Of A Drive: Tarvisio

After nearly one thousand miles of driving across Romania, Hungary and Slovenia, we found ourselves in the Giulie alps, up in the north-easternmost corner of Italy. The little town of Tarvisio was the place we ended up in - it's about four miles from Slovenia and six from Austria. The region is a real mix of different cultures, with almost as much German spoken as Italian and a lot of Slovenian influence as well. It's a skiing village, really, and we arrived just as its pulse was beginning to quicken. There is a women's world cup event this weekend, and skiers from all over Europe and the world were streaming into the (usually) quiet streets and packing the bars and hotels.
Despite the crowds, the main ski area, which rises right up from the village, remained fairly calm. We rented equipment and spent a few pleasant hours on the slopes - the snow was firm but had been groomed up nicely. This old Italian jet sat on a stand between two chairlifts.
There were a good number of places to eat and drink in town - the food was particularly exciting for us because we have eaten primarily cabbage for months. This bar had some good beers and a selection of wines on tap. The tap-wine thing was strange at first, but we found that it was pretty common around town. Also, it's not as bad as it sounds.
The longest and broadest trail was closed in advance of the races. There were a few skiers on it when we drove by, and we speculated about whether or not they were racers. I don't follow ski racing, so I wasn't able to identify anyone that we saw around town or in our hotel. The receptionist proudly told us that both the Italian and Canadian teams were staying on the premises, but I have no idea if any of them were famous or even any good.
We stayed for two nights, having made our long traverse in better time than we expected. We ate mostly standing up, sampling a few little things between drinks. These things were swirls of crustless, white bread stuffed with meat and vegetable paste. Despite a definite mushiness, they were tasty. The one in front is bressaiola and spinach.

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