The Dolomites, a beautiful mountain range in northern Italy, were just superb. I don’t know if I have ever seen more beautiful peaks. As we returned home via Switzerland I found the Swiss Alps lacking after our time in the Dolomites. They are rocky and there are huge rock faces jutting up into the sky. They were a short drive from Venice and on our first day driving through some magnificant passes it started raining and most of our view was blocked by clouds and mist but when it cleared up the next day we were just blown away with the beauty.
Our really great hotel which has been in service for 800 years if you can believe it. It had a Swiss or Austrian feel. In fact, German is spoken in this area of Italy and I often forgot which country I was in. If WWII hadn’t happened I think this part of Italy would be in Austria.
I saw quite a few sculptures of witches here as it apparantly was once the home of many witches who had their own Salem type occurence when many of them were executed. I thought about buying a cute kitchen witch-there were many for sale-but didn’t.
As you might imagine, there is a lot of skiing in this area but it is also known for its hiking. Here is a photo of the map showing the hiking trails. We actually spent one day hiking on a beautiful sunny day and, luckily for me, it wasn’t all uphill although I did find myself doing that donkey way of climbing, sort of zig zagging back and forth to make it to the top of a steep slope now and then. We took a bus from our hotel to a nearby village, then a gondola to midpoint up a mountain before we finally started our hike. We were gone about five hours and I was very glad to get back to the hotel, take off my seldom used hiking boots and get in a hot tub.
Just one of many photos I took on the hike. We stopped for lunch at a hut and met some nice people. A cute group of men ordered some grappa-a very strong liquor-and sang a little song as a toast before drinking it. We had our own little bottle of a local poire william which we drank at one point. It seems so cool to drink something like that when you are on top of a mountain.