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Posts Tagged ‘Cogne’

September 4, 2010, 1310 hours. Autostazione [bus station], Aosta, Piemonte, Italy.

The exact location where back in June I reached maximum gelato capacity (see earlier post). On September 4, I was back in Aosta, having arrived that morning by bus from Chamonix and enjoyed a delicious lunch of insalata, bruschetta, rose wine and caffe in the sunny central square, and still had 20 minutes to spare before my bus to Cogne. Should I put it to the test? Half of me said no, you’re still full from that big lunch, wait until you get to Cogne. The other half could not resist the symmetry of the situation, and convinced me to walk the short distance away to la Dolce Terapia [Sweet Therapy], the very gelatteria I’d bought the coppetta from on that fateful day last June. Una coppetta con fondente e pistacchio, per favore, I placed the order, which was ready within moments. It was a hot day, my hands were full with my luggage, and the gelato was melting fast, so I walked as quickly as possible back to the autostazione, dropped my bags on the ground, and began to eat.

The verdict? I could not do it. More than half of the coppetta went into the garbage can. Apparently, despite having been absent from Italy for 2 months, I am still at maximum gelato capacity.

Cogne and its surroundings are as beautiful as ever, and I’ve spent the last couple of days in the area enjoying some solo hiking in Gran Paradiso. There aren’t as many wildflowers now, and with less snow the views aren’t quite as spectacular as they were in June, but the trails are drier and easier to navigate and the scenery is still stunning. Today I’ll head back to Chamonix where I look forward to meeting the group I’ll be hiking with for the next 10 days on the Mont Blanc circuit.

…. “We look down on the Alps,” a Bhutanese acquaintance said to me a few days ago when I mentioned this as my next destination. “Yes, but they have better wine,” I countered. And better caffe I should have added. Over the last 2 months I had attempted to drink the coffee in Ireland, England, Mongolia and Bhutan and in almost every case was forced to set aside the cup of what I charitably referred to as coffee-flavoured beverage after a few sips (one of the exceptions was in a small cafe on the Aran Island of Inishmoor which served Lavazza – made in Torino! – coffee; the owner had lived for a time in Italy with a former girlfriend, and in true Irish form managed to tell a few good stories in the moments it took for me to drink my tazze of espresso). Call me a coffee snob if you want, but I can’t help it. As a character in a book I read recently said, just a few months in Italy can spoil you for life… in a good way. If any of my fellow Mongolian riders are reading, I am happy to report that the countdown is over: that first caffe in Aosta was even better than I imagined, and I’ve savoured several more since. Though my coppetta runneth over, clearly my tazze doth not.

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