In the Christmas Spirit?

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With Christmas approaching, what is better to get you in the mood than a trip to a Christmas market? Surrounded by all the trappings of the festive period it is impossible to avoid feeling just a tad Christmassy.

After leaving Champoluc because of high winds we decided to drive to Aosta for a couple of days. Aosta is a lovely town in it’s own right, plus there is access to the ski resort of Pila without having to drive up mountain roads. With the additional lure of a Christmas market it was a no brainer.

Christmas Market in Aosta

When we turned up at the sosta on the edge of town it was still very busy with weekend visitors who had been enjoying the holiday. We were very lucky to slot ourselves into a space as someone left, but knew that by the end of the day the packed parking area would be down to just a.handful of vehicles as all the Italians headed back to work.

We strolled into the town centre and through the streets with the rest of the vistors, window shopping and occasionally stopping to buy a sweet or savoury treat and we finally tried the fabulous foccacia at a hole-in-the -wall snack kiosk we had eyed up last time we had visited. It was worth it.

The Christmas market in Aosta was a tasteful display of twinkling and swirling lights and artisinal stalls spread around a handful of squares. A male voice choir in beautifully laundered and matching winter hoodies harmonised Christmas tunes and carols. My particular favourite entertainment was a display of singing logs; obviously designed for children, they had charmed an audience of adults.  

Skiing in Pila

The next day it rained all day. We crossed our fingers that this rain was falling as snow on the mountain and made plans to ski the following day. We moved from the sosta to the car park at the gondola station ready for an early start. The snow was good and the skiing in Pila as much fun as we remembered, it was just a shame that the early season meant a few of the lifts were closed as they prepared the runs.

No Christmas spirit for our rodent visitor

We popped back to the sosta that evening so that we could spend a bit more time in Aosta, it was during this day that we fancied a snack and I opened up the cupboard to get out the breadsticks, only to  see a small whiskered face peering out at me. The mouse was still at large and I had forgotten to seal the breadsticks in a mouse proof container – just the opportunity it had been looking for. The season of goodwill did not extend to mouse visitors and Paul managed to capture our stowaway in a lunch box and get rid of it outside of the parking area. The poor Devonshire rodent must have found the change of country, and temperature,  quite a shock.


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