BACK IN THE DOLOMITES

Vienna, 11 July 2020

Last year, at about this time, my wife and I undertook our first hike in the Dolomites. Readers can see the commented photos of that hike in an earlier post. At the time, we promised ourselves to come back this year, to explore another part of the Dolomites. We were true to our promise, even though Covid-19 threatened to upset our plans, particularly since we were joined by one of my French cousins and his wife: would the borders be open on time? would they  have to quarantine in Italy? or in France on their way back? But all was well; restrictions on travel were lifted in time. And it was great that they could come, because I have shamelessly used a good number of the photos they took.

This year, we explored the Dolomites around the Val Pusteria as well as the Ampezzine Dolomites close to Cortina d’Ampezzo. I have a fondness of bird’s-eye view maps like the one below, but they do allow me to mark the route we took.

Cousins’ photo

We started in San Candido at the bottom of the map (which is Innichen to the local, mostly German-speaking population; we are in the South Tyrol here). We hiked over the group of mountains south of the town, where the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, the Three Peaks, were the star of the show, and down into Cortina d’Ampezzo at the top right of the map. Then we hiked around another group of mountains to the west of Cortina; I’ll show a map of that in a minute. But let’s have the photos tell the rest of the tale!

21 June

On the evening we arrive, the setting sun brightens the tops of the mountains behind San Candido / Innichen

our photo

22 June

First stage, hiking up the Val Campo di Dentro up to the Drei Schuster Hütte / Rifugio Tre Scarperi: gradual climb of about 450 m. Here we are, arriving at the hut in time for lunch.

Cousins’ photo

The mountain blocking the end of the valley. After lunch we climbed up to the top of the saddle to the left of that mountain: a brutally steep climb of 840 m!

Our photo

We have started climbing. The valley floor is dropping away below us

Cousins’ photo

Clambering over an impossibly lovely stream, hoping not to fall in …

Cousins’ photo

And we climb …

Our photo

The valley is far below now …

Our photo

… but still we climb … we begin to hit snow patches …

Cousins’ photo

Last sighting of the valley far, far below

Cousins’ photo

… and still we climb …

Our photo

Finally, the top!

Cousins’ photo

Our first sighting of the Three Peaks of Lavaredo. We will be walking to the saddle to the left of them, to reach the mountain hut we will be sleeping in.

our photo

Our first clear view of of these three majestic peaks

Cousins’ photo

Getting closer to them, while the weather is turning …

Cousins’ photo

… also looking back at the route we’ve taken.

Cousins’ photo

Nearly at the top of the saddle …

Our photo

Looking over the other side of the saddle, down onto the Rifugio Lavaredo where we will be staying the night. Nearly the end of a long day.

Our photo

23 June

Beautiful day. We go back to the top of the saddle.

That’s the path we’ll be taking today, snaking away to the far left.

Our photo

The Three Peaks keep us company on our left as we walk

Our photo

We pass a lovely spray of pink flowers

Cousins’ photo

A last look at the Three Peaks …

Our photo

… and at the panorama behind us, with the path we’ve just taken winding across it

Our photo

Lake Misurina, glinting in the sunlight, beckons to us from far below in the valley. It is time to start climbing down.

Our photo

We drop about 600 m before finally arriving at the lake.

Source

We take the chairlift to the Rifugio Col de Varda, the mountain hut where we will be staying the night.

24 June

Today is taken up with a walk to the Rifugio di Città di Carpi and back via Lake Misurina. It’s a walk primarily through forest but with some fine views across the valley …

Cousins’ photo

… as well as sightings of some beautiful flowers – this is a particularly lovely example of the globe flower

our photo

We arrive at the Rifugio di Città di Carpi in time for coffee – to be purchased with masks on the face; Covid-19 haunts us even here.

Source

After coffee, a final look at the view …

our photo

… before we plunge once more into the forest, walking down to Misurina.

Source

25 June

Today the weather forecast is for rain, so we kit ourselves up. We are walking mostly through forest, up to the Passo Tre Croci and then down to Cortina d’Ampezzo.

A tank trap near the pass, built by Mussolini to keep out the Germans – the most obvious sign we came across of this area being a border region, with all the tensions that come with that. During our walks around the Tre Cime we were crossing now vanished World War I trenches and spied dugouts carved into the rocks.

Cousins’ photo

Some lovely forest land around the Agritur El Brite de Larieto (closed, alas, when we passed by; I had rather been hoping to have lunch there), which mixed woods and pastures – a delightful combination, especially when we saw the cows wandering between the trees; and what a heavenly smell they gave off! Of fresh milk.

Source

By the time we reached the Rifugio Mietres (also closed), the weather was turning decidedly to the stormy, with thunder rumbling away in the mountains above us.

Our photo

Our first view of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the valley below, our objective for today

Our photo

Going down a ski track. In the middle distance a flock of sheep

Cousins’ photo

A closer look at the sheep. They must be on their way to the high alpine meadows for the summer

Cousins’ photo

The main street in Cortina d’Ampezzo, where we had a late lunch before driving up to the hotel at the Passo Falzarego

Source

26 June

I said I would show another map of the trail we did on this last day of our hike, so here it is.

Cousins’ photo

We start at Lagazuói, taking the cable car from the Pass up to it.

View of the Pass far below from the top of the cable car

Cousins’ photo

View of the other side, where we would be walking down and then going off to the right

Cousins’ photo

We’ve walked down, over extensive beds of snow, to this first pass

Our photo

Further on, a plunging view down to our left

Cousins’ photo

Striding across a soggy meadow

Cousins’ photo

The clouds are billowing up from the valley below …

our photo

… which means that we are soon climbing down into mist

Cousins’ photo

Soon, the world around us turns milky

Cousins’ photo

But we eventually break out from the mist and can look up at the heights we came down from

Our photo

The path wends its way through dwarf pines

Cousins’ photo

We go on until we reach the cable car you can see in the distance.

Cousins’ photo

So ended this year’s hike to the Dolomites. I’m sure we will be back next year – Covid-19 permitting.

Published by

Abellio

I like writing, but I’ve spent most of my life writing about things that don’t particularly interest me. Finally, as I neared the age of 60, I decided to change that. I wanted to write about things that interested me. What really interests me is beauty. So I’ve focused this blog on beautiful things. I could be writing about a formally beautiful object in a museum. But it could also be something sitting quietly on a shelf. Or it could be just a fleeting view that's caught my eye, or a momentary splash of colour-on-colour at the turn of the road. Or it could be a piece of music I've just heard. Or a piece of poetry. Or food. And I’m sure I’ve missed things. But I’ll also write about interesting things that I hear or read about. Isn't there a beauty about things pleasing to the mind? I started just writing, but my wife quickly persuaded me to include photos. I tried it and I liked it. So my posts are now a mix of words and pictures, most of which I find on the internet. What else about me? When I first started this blog, my wife and I lived in Beijing where I was head of the regional office of the UN Agency I worked for. So at the beginning I wrote a lot about things Chinese. Then we moved to Bangkok, where again I headed up my Agency's regional office. So for a period I wrote about Thailand and South-East Asia more generally. But we had lived in Austria for many years before moving to China, and anyway we both come from Europe my wife is Italian while I'm half English, half French - so I often write about things European. Now I'm retired and we've moved back to Europe, so I suppose I will be writing a lot more about the Old Continent, interspersed with posts we have gone to visit. What else? We have two grown children, who had already left the nest when we moved to China, but they still figure from time to time in my posts. I’ll let my readers figure out more about me from reading what I've written. As these readers will discover, I really like trees. So I chose a tree - an apple tree, painted by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt - as my gravatar. And I chose Abellio as my name because he is the Celtic God of the apple tree. I hope you enjoy my posts. http://ipaintingsforsale.com/UploadPic/Gustav Klimt/big/Apple Tree I.jpg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.