Monday, July 18, 2011

The Big Wow: more hiking in the Dolomites

We had a rainy, rainy day yesterday, with more predicted today. But we decided to head out for a short walk, and four-ish hours later decided that it's hard to do a short walk around here. There are paths everywhere, with ski lifts, and gondolas, and endless beautiful destinations. It's an incredible place for hiking. The photos below are from a hike we did a few days ago plus today's hike. Enjoy!

Much love!

p.s. It was hard to boil down the photos to the group below. There are more to be seen here:

If you've seen it before, you may know that the deep blue sky in photos like this come from using a Polarizing filter. Clouds mixed with blue sky make for much nicer photos than do solid blue skies, generally, and especially nicer than grey skies.
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Regina isn't crazy about cows, especially house-sized ones. This is the start of a BIG hike, but she didn't realize it, which is why she's coming with me.
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This is a typical signboard is most towns. The blue lines are roads, the red lines are walking paths, white lines are maybe gravel paths, and the black lines are gondolas. You can take a fantastic walk just about any direction you choose, and it would be hard to make a bad choice. Unless you just stayed home.
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An impressive gondola ride. In 1989 a US fight jet flew too low (about 300 feet elevation) and too fast (540 mph) and clipped a cable on one of these gondolas, plunging 20 people 250 feet to their death. The pilot and navigator were acquitted in the first trial, which didn't go over well with the Italian public. The crew had destroyed a videotape of the flight and were later convicted of that. Big drama.
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The trail hugged the base of the cliffs until we came to a beautiful "refugio," where we had a delicious hot meal. Delightful.
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We started downhill from the refugio and walk (for two-ish hours) to the valley, where we took a gondola back to the top to get the van.
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Rain threatened a few times, and clouds came and went.
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On another day we drove the endlessly windy roads to another town. On one mountain pass each of the 24 hairpin turns was numbered.
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Now this in my idea of a nice woodpile.
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At the start of today's walk everyone was cooing about the cute duckies.
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We're camped as I write this near this lake, in the town of Misurina. (Google Maps link here:
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We took a chairlift up from the lake and started walking around this massive mountain.
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Bluebells, I guess.
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We ate lunch at this refugio. Delicious pasta dish (I should have written down the name, since I didn't recognize it) and another lovely server.
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This is the view from the refugio. I intended to walk back to the lake on the path that hugs the cliffs, but when black clouds came in, threatening rain, I changed my mind. And it never rained! Dang it.
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The view from the other side of the refugio. We ate lunch outside.
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Regina's new Facebook picture, or so I told her when I took it.
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A couple of hours later, and we're back to the lake.
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We stopped into this bar for a hot chocolate, which traditionally is as thick as pudding.
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Another view across the lake.
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And the van at our campsite. Just off to the left is a nice restaurant where we're using internet. Sweet! (Brigitte let me take her bicycle, which is on the back of the van!)
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There are more photos here:

(The end)