Dawn on Lago d’ Allegne from our park up.
Italy has been very good to us in terms of nice places to stay for the night. Not always strictly by the rules but it does seem pretty relaxed. There are thousands of ” motor homes” here, way more than anywhere else we’ve been and they’re nearly all Italian. Gone are the Dutch and Germans.
There are lots of municipal camper park ups but it’s the height of the holiday season and they’re pretty crammed, especially in towns. As are the camp sites. It seems like there is some inverse law that means the more unattractive the location, the more camperv, sorry motor homes will be in it. While we were lake side, the town side park up looked like this.
Anyway, each to their own. I guess some folk are sociable. I am improving my skills at interacting with mass tourism facilities and to continue working on them I resolved not to hike on our own up mountains for a couple of days but to join countless others on cable car trips instead.
From Alleghe there was a two stage lift to the ski runs atop Col del Baldi at 1930m. The second stage had been turned from a chair lift to a cable car this year so we were able to take the dogs.
A few minutes and 900m later we were gazing in wonder at 350 degrees of splendour.
What impressed us most apart from the peaks was the fact that all the ski runs were grassy loveliness. In Slovakia, Poland and Slovenia we’d seen some really scared up mountains but these looked landscaped and manicured, almost like golf courses.
Here’s a couple more pictures of bikes to quench the thirst of Giles.
There was a busy bar/restaurant and lots of picnicking and sunbathing around the CC station and a network of trails that headed off hither and thither. Some people were picking bilberry or blueberry of which there was a carpet.
As our mission for the day was to mingle with the masses we didn’t stray too far only climbing a solitary bump to check unseen vista. But what do you do when your not hiking? Chat? I wasn’t quite ready for that level of human interaction so found time passing slowly and after what I’ve just worked out to be 7 hours (no wonder it seemed like a long time. I’m better at doing nothing than I thought) we zoomed back down to cool off in the lake and head off in search of a remote, rural, isolated and quiet place to stay.
Another picnic place in the shady trees by a river surrounded by soaring towers of limestone.
And in the background was our goal for the morning, Marmolada, known as the Queen of the Dolomites, the highest of them all at 3343m. But we weren’t going back to our old ways and hiking up, no we still had work to do on the crowd tolerance.
And getting up at six to drive the last steep bit while the air was still cool meant we were at the station plenty early to avoid a queue and be unnecessarily tested. Or maybe not.
And some even had the iron roofs I like so much. We had realised in Slovenia, whilst admiring the corrugated iron shed rooves that they were actually recycled 1st World War iron and it was everywhere. 100 yr old thick iron with a coating or patina of rust but still good and outperforming stuff obviously much younger. And here we were again on another Italian /Austro Hungarian WW1 front and the Tin was back.
The cable car which took 70 punters shooting up the vertical wall of rock took 3 stages to work it’s way to the top. From the village of Malga Ciapela at 1435m to El Banch at 2236,
The brand new war museum was well designed with interesting exhibits but we had seen a lot further East on the Isonzo front where 300,000 had died. What was amazing on the Marmolada was the Ice City carved out of the glacier by the Austro Hungarians. 10km of tunnels with every kind of facility within. One of the largest, the so called Eisstadt was home to 300 under ice riflemen.
We had left the dogs slowly baking so had to return
The village below was a treat with it’s wooden buildings, floral displays and quaint inhabitants.
In our program of social readjustment we hadn’t reached a level that allowed use of the “fun train” so we were forced to walk back up the hill.
Off again, and this time for quite a spin. Because we are wary of taking Tranny up steep winding roads we had to go the long way round to get to and beyond Cortina d’Ampezzo the main tourist hub of the Dolomites. The steep sided valley and lack of side roads meant out park up was not of the usual high standard but we had a lovely pink mt Pelmo in the morning.
From Uberto we walked up the Val Salata to the Refugio Stua and then up and up above the tree line to the Alpine meadows of Lerosa at 2020m. A good 18km and 600m climb.
Further on we were treated to views of spiralling layers of rock in more mountain ranges.
Good to be walking in it.