All good things have an end and today we reached the end of the Vallee D’Aosta. I can recommend our walk of the past three days to anyone seeking some fine walking in Italy. It has been a very good experience and we have seen a few pilgrims as well.
Last night’s hotel Evancon was owned by a pastry chef. Can you believe it? We were going to skip breakfast altogether in favour of an early start but he threw open the doors of the dining room at 7am and we took out places. There was little ceremony as he brought in tray after tray of fresh bread, fresh croissants, Madeira cake, other cakes and a platter of local ham and cheese.
I once had breakfast at the Savoy in the 1980s before I had to fund my own expenses but it was well short of the Evancon. Everything was fresh from the oven and delicious beyond belief. There was orange juice from a blood red orange but you didn’t need it; the Madeira cake worked just as well. Nonetheless our B&B in Church Whitfield near Dover still holds the perfect ten score for breakfast. I’d do the whole Via Francigena again just to repeat their breakfast (only kidding).
Our walk today took us through a number of villages, all famous for various things such as lard, pigs, wine and beautiful stone houses with pretty gardens. We saw a furniture maker making magnificent outdoor tables and varnishing them. I was tempted to enquire about them but these things rarely travel. I once knew a girl who had bought a huge teak table in Thailand but it never properly fitted in her apartment. She then discovered a bit more about Thai rainforests, the youthful labour force etc. and had to keep it covered.
By the way, I tried varnishing once. I bought a tin of varnish and a special brush and set to work on a table top. The chap in the photo down below makes it look so easy; my effort could have stood alongside a Jackson Pollock in the Museum of Modern Art. These are the sort of things you can find in the Vallee D’Aosta.
The village of Bard was voted one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. It stands in a gorge and is populated by people mostly in the tourist industry. A fort has been built into the sides of the gorge and a little funicular railway runs up the side. Splendid view from the top right up the Vallee.
We took Coco to the station for her train back to Aosta. It was really great to see her again and she certainly chose a good section of the Via Francigena. Now we are staying in Clara’s hotel near the station. It’s ok for a couple of smelly pilgrims for a night. Clara doesn’t give the impression of being a pastry chef. We’re off to investigate a Chinese restaurant nearby.
Delicious breakfast croissants
One of those taps which keep flowing
Varnishing a table
The view up the Vallee D’Aosta
The fort at Bard
The village of Bard