For the last couple of months, I lived in one of the highest inhabited mountain village of the Northern Italian Alps (2057 above sea level) – Cuneaz. It’s located on a very – VERY special and unique place. For me, it’s fairly bizarre and funny to live in one of the highest places of Europe whether I’m born in on the lowest countries on earth – The Netherlands (6,75 below sea level).
Cuneaz is a small mountain village with only five inhabitants – including me. Everything here falls back into primary and simple life – Yes, this is mountain life! Besides living here, I also work here as a chalet host in one of the most beautiful chalets you have probably ever seen. Here, I can enjoy the beautiful silence, simple and amazing snowboard / mountain life. Wondering how that’s like for me? Then read here a peak of my current life.
I wake up and I have a look around me. I see the cat who I’ve met tree months ago, next to me laying in bed – I see a few wooden beams above me and right in front of me, I see through my little window a real painting: a thick pack of fresh snow on the beautiful south slope of the Matterhorn – in snow covered pine trees – a few snowy small chalets – acryl – like painted air & a lovely sun. I walk out of the door of my own small romantic chalet and I hear the stream flowing – the birds whistling and the cat meowing. Then, I step into a much bigger chalet – a beautiful old renovated house which is even more beautiful than you can imagine and this is also my workplace for the past four months.
I start preparing breakfast – cover the table – make some coffee and tea – extract the homemade loaves of bread from the bread machine – cut some fresh local cheeses and in meantime, the oak table slowly flows full with the guests of this week.
When the guests are finished with their breakfast – I clean off the table – clean the chalet – drink a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy my late breakfast on the balcony, where the sun shines the best.
You absolutely hear nothing around you except for some sounds of nature; a little fly – the wind through the trees or the dripping melting ice.
Now it’s time for getting some groceries and a visit to the hairdresser – I have to be quick because the Italians still use siestas – those crazy Italians.
I start dressing, grab my snowboard and start snowboarding down – the only way to get to the ‘big’ village. I do some shopping in the little supermarket and go straight to the hairdresser. A crazy feeling, to sit fully dressed in your snowboard clothes in a barber chair.
Once finished at the hairdresser, I put on my helmet, on my just cut hair – put on back my snowboard jacket and take the heavy backpack with groceries on my back. I take the ski lift up and after two gondolas I can make my ride back home – also the only way to get to the chalet unless you want to have a heavy hike up. I need to be careful though because I don’t want to break the bottles of wine in my backpack which I just bought for the guests.
Once done my job it’s me- time and I decide to go boarding. I have a few hours of fun within the three rocky valleys of Val Daosta – have a nice Italian or Nepal lunch (because of the many Tibetan influences) and growing more muscle pain are the results.
Around 5 o’clock it’s time to prepare dinner – but in the meantime, a few guests have missed the last gondola to get back home – so we must pick them up with our snowmobile. I’m not so much of a hero with the snowmobile – although I feel like a superhero while driving it (I mean, who has a private snowmobile right?) – reality is that I’m shaking like hell. So I prefer that my lovely tough mate drives it. After he has brought back the guests and potential some extra groceries or laundry – he begins with cooking while I’m decking the table and answering some emails.
Two hours later, a three-course dinner is served and we have to work quite hard for a couple of hours. But, after that its time to enjoy our evening again, just relaxing. Sometimes we have a little chat with our guests, but most of the times we just go back to our mini chalet. First, I take a really nice shower under the delicious rain shower of pure spring water and then I dive back into my small, but cozy bed. That was another day at the office – a relaxed and peaceful working life.
Photography & content:
Live the travel / Silke Peulen