The Kronplatz and meeting new friends

Christmas Eve is traditionally the time Europeans celebrate the religious holiday. But like all tourist towns, most of the people are working. All the restaurants and shops in Corvara and Arabba were open for business as usual.

Today we headed north-east from Arabba to a big area called the Kronplatz. Again a very Germanic area, this resort has the most and newest lift system we’ve seen outside of Arabba. 35 out of 36 lifts are running here and the runs are covered in the best man-made snow we’ve experienced so far….Sadly we’re starting to become quite the connoiseurs!

It’s a big resort, with 3 interconnected mountains. But it’s was easy to get to as the road down from Corvara and La Villa is pretty straight forward, no steep passes with endless hairpin corners. Arriving there we started our usual plan of trying to ski every lift on the mountain. And if we hadn’t stopped for an hour’s lunch break, I think we’d might have made it. We missed the target by one run and one gondola!

It was our first cloudy day in 10 days straight of skiing.  But the views back to the Sellaronda and the Marmolada and Arabba were very good. The runs at Kronplatz are super long and wide and there’s quite a few black runs that kept us entertained.  There will be another World Cup race here at the end of January.  If we decide to go, I’ll pack the ear plugs!!

At the top of the Concordia, one of the mountains in the Kronplatz is a huge Peace Bell. It was installed at the turn of the millenium.  It rings most days at noon.   It is seriously loud and echoes right through the mountains – have a listen.

The panorama from Kronplatz
The panorama from Kronplatz – Arabba marked with arrow.

While we don’t indulge everyday….you can see why a glass of wine at lunch time is very tempting. The house white wine is very good and it’s the least expensive drink on the menu. Soft drink and beer is more expensive than a glass of wine – hard to imagine?  €1.80 vs. €3 for beer or €2.20 for lemonade.

On the way home we stopped in Corvara to see the Christmas market and nativity scene. It was pretty small, but there was a lovely fellow there with his pet owls. I had forgotten how big these birds are. They sat very regally on their perches, and were not fazed by all the people and cameras flashing & whirring.

After a little shopping, we headed home for our Christmas Eve dinner. We headed up to Bar Peter, where we’d met the very friendly Miriam earlier. This place is a bit of a surprise. Between 3:30 and 6:30 pm it’s a true apres ski bar with pumping music and drinks flowing freely. But then at 7:00  pm it morphs into a restaurant. The whole building is owned I think by Miriam and her chef husband Peter – hence the name. They appear to have guests staying in the floors above as well.

But the big surprise is the quality of the food.  In my mind, a fillet of beef is always a good test of a restaurant.  And Peter cooked us one of the best pieces of meat we’ve had in a long time.  Topped with honey, butter & walnuts and served on a delicious selection of roasted vegetables, it was lip smackingly good.   I’m not really a trip advisor person, but the food was so good, and the service genuinely friendly that I gave them a glowing review.  Hopefully it will be helpful to their business.

On the table next to us was an English family and we couldn’t help but to introduce ourselves and wish them a Merry Christmas… and then off we went.  Of course they know our neighbour John and like him, they have been coming to Arabba for over 15 years.  Peter, Sarah and their two 20 something daughters, Suzanne & Victoria were great company and we agreed to meet up again with them Boxing Day night for apres ski at Plan Boe.

It was after midnight when we tucked ourselves into bed.   Oooh …we are such “stop-outs”!!

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