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Tag Archives: Alpe di Siusi

Familiar faces and places

22 Sep
22 September 2017.
When “Taxi Ivan” picked us up in Bolzano last week, we could scarcely contain our excitement. We were returning to Ortisei for our 6th summer visit. Ivan remembered transporting us with our cats last summer.

The street where we lived, temporarily. So charming!

Despite the calendar, it did not feel like summer.  Lows of 2 C/35 F and highs of 12  C/54 F were not quite what we expected. We each had to purchase a fleece as a warm layer: our long-sleeved tees and rain jackets just did not cut it.
Nonetheless, it felt like coming home. We stayed in the same apartment we shared with our cats, Libby and Jane, last year. Justine and Siegfried at Residence Astoria greeted us like old friends. We were honored to see Justine had purchased our book for use by her guests! Even the staff in the gelato and grappa store recognized us. It really felt great to come back and feel so at home. And my Italian came back rather quickly, if imperfectly.

That view looks fake, but it very real. The Sciliar and Punta Santner with Compatsch in the foreground.

We managed to carve out two good hikes in our four full days. One was crossing the Alpe di Siusi on a favorite route, stopping for strudel at a preferred mountain hotel. The other a very cold hike through fog across the ridge at Rasciesa. Luckily hot coffee and fine strudel awaited us at the rifugio.
Another day we listened to the forecast of rain all day and decided not to risk a mountain expedition, so we took a bus into Bolzano for shopping and lunch. But we never got our umbrellas wet! Not in 36 hours! It looked like rain most of the day so our time at higher altitudes might have been cut short. Hard to know when to believe a forecast.

One of our favorite rifugi, Rasciesa. We were the first customers at 9:45. As we were leaving, the crowds were arriving.

We cooked several dinners (restaurants get tiring when you travel long term) but treated ourselves to one fine meal at what has become our favorite fine dining establishment in Ortisei, Restaurant Concordia. We were one of only three parties on a Sunday evening, all seated in a cozy room with the woodstove burning. We dithered over many fine options on the menu, choosing an antipasto of involtini with mozzarella and grilled vegetables and secondi of venison and pork, with a fine local Lagrein to accompany. Everything was superb! The owners are wait staff and chef, making for a very personal experience. They were thrilled to hear we returned to them after a great experience last year. It is so nice to go to restaurants away from the main streets, no matter how small the town, and find such intimacy.
Here are a few more pictures from our stay in Ortisei. Click any picture for complete captions.

The canal where we live.

We are now in Venezia and the weather gods have cooperated. We were out in shirtsleeves and ate lunch al aperto twice this week.
Venezia is, of course, very familiar to us. We’ve been here 10 times although I am not sure we should count our one-night-stand in August of 2016 when we came here simply to briefly escape the heat in Roma. We know where we are going most of the time although I am grateful for GPS on the phone when we get twisted about. The first few times we visited we used only paper maps. I am happy to have adopted the electronic form when I see others standing around gaping at their maps trying to decipher Venezia.

Incredible saute of mussels and clams at Trattoria da Jonny.

It was another fine meal we got ourselves into at Trattoria da Jonny. Or rather, I should thank Michele over at Meandering with Misha for getting us there. She raved about it in March and I remembered her post was so inspiring we had to go. We were shocked to arrive and find the place lightly attended while out on the main tourist piazzas things were humming. It was to our advantage: a finely prepared lunch in a peaceful location with only schoolkids and local shoppers passing through. We kept it simple: branzino with spinach for Ric, a lovely bowl of mussels and clams for me, accompanied by seasonal veggies and roasted potatoes we shared. A little Soave washed it down nicely. A lot to eat for lunch but after our three-plus mile morning walk (and knowing we’d do four more miles before the day was finished) we deserved it. Again we are preparing food a casa so a simple salad and more good wine (Donna Fugata why are you not exporting to the U.S?) made a fitting evening meal.
When we travel long like this, our evenings are much like being in the U.S. If we do not go out to eat, and if we’ve had an active day, a simple supper at “home” with perhaps some streaming of American TV is a nice way to chill out. Unfortunately, Amazon and Netflix are wise to our use of a VPN. Although Amazon worked in Ortisei, they are apparently on to us now. We found PBS is still willing to feed our need with their fine programming. Is anyone else watching Ken Burns’ “Vietnam?”

Giant hands support a building along the Grand Canal. Interesting metaphor.

In addition to eating at several new-to-us places, this is turning out to be an art tour of Venezia as we finally attended the Biennale. More on that later. Always new things to see even in a place you’ve visited many times.
Per addesso, ciao!

 

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What’s new?

29 Mar
29 March 2017. It is difficult not to think of Italy and our Italian life. I love being back in Oregon and living in a small coastal community, but Ric and I do have a fondness for things Italian and wax nostalgic about our fabulous years in Roma.

The Alpe di Siusi, Italy, one of our favorite places.

I am delighted to see new people signing up to follow this blog. I hope you find it useful in planning your trip to Italy, or perhaps you are just reading and dreaming about Italy. I do that a lot myself. 
Since GoodDayRome is on hiatus until we travel to Europe again, you can join me over at Our Weekly Pizza for commentary on our continuing search for great pizza, or at Project Easy Hiker where we are blogging about hiking. As the weather gets better, we’ll be out-and-about on the Oregon Coast adding to our hiking repertoire. 
And if you know anyone traveling to Italy this year I hope you will tell them about our new book, “Walking in Italy’s Val Gardena.” The Val Gardena is a paradise and easily experienced on foot with a series of easy hikes, suitable for children, the elderly, or anyone who wants to enjoy the alps without climbing them.

Animal encounters

22 Jul
Mr. Marmot relaxes below the Seceda gondola.

Mr. Marmot relaxes below the Seceda gondola.

22 July 2016. Cows abound in the Alpe di Siusi and the Val Gardena in Italy’s north. True wildlife is a little harder to find. In fact, we’ve been hoping to spot a marmot here or in Switzerland for the past 4 years. We’ve taken “marmot trails” and seen nothing but cartoonish signs claiming the critters were about. Finally, the other day, we not only saw a marmot, but Ric captured a fine photo that I wanted to share with you. And for fun, here are a few more pictures of the animals that dot the trails we have traversed for the past 3 weeks.
Please click on any photo for a better view and a caption. 

 

Easy hiking

16 Jul
16 July 2016. We unabashedly take hikes rated as “easy” these days. Having injured both knees over the past two years, hikes labeled “moderately strenuous” are now usually just plain strenuous for us. Altitude gain doesn’t bother us too much once we are acclimated, but tough footing, disappearing trail signs, and steep descents give us cause to pause and think about how much we value our lives.
Marinzen is a lovely rifugio. Many people just ride up to hang out and not even hike.

Marinzen is a lovely rifugio. Many people just ride up to hang out and not even hike.

According to the book “Walking Guide Around the Alpe di Siusi,” the hike we chose for Friday, #10 for the record, was to be an easy hike. It was depicted as a round trip that was to take 2.5 hours with 214 meters of altitude gain and loss. We are slow hikers, so we figured even if it took 3 hours, we’d be fine, and there were two rifugi where we could get lunch. Piece of proverbial cake. Ha!
The Marinzen chairlift. Scenic, but such a cold wind this day! It goes up, up, up into the trees ahead.

The Marinzen chairlift. Scenic, but such a cold wind this day! It goes up, up, up into the trees ahead.

The lift to our starting point at Marinzen leaves from Castelrotto at the base of the Alpe di Siusi. Marinzen is an older chairlift. Nothing wrong with it, but it is less comfy than some others in the area. It is a long ride, about 20 minutes, and this day, in JULY no less, it was cold, about 9 degrees Celsius (48 Fahrenheit) with a biting northerly wind. Brrrrr. Once we hit the trees we were shielded from the wind and the sun came out. At the top, we found a delightful refugio with baby goats only a couple of weeks old. They (the rifugio, not the goats) served great strudel, one of the best we’ve had, and a perfect cappuccino. God, I love hiking in Italy! We could have stayed awhile, but there was a hike to do.
Goats being fed parsley stems at Marinzen.

Goats being fed parsley stems at Marinzen.

The hike starts on a gravel road then veers off across a meadow with a faint track leading to a shrine. Past the shrine is a trail sign. We knew to follow #12. The path steepened so we took out the hiking sticks. It was a steady climb, but not bad, with occasional rocky sections, nothing horrible. We are, after two weeks here, acclimated to the elevation and the level of activity. Still, as we trudged on I felt it better to go forward because I really did not want to go back down that steep trail. My knees and my nerves dislike steep descents. A couple of places it was hard to discern the exact trail but we were able to look up and spot the CAI red and white sign and determine the proper path.
Looking back toward Marinzen as we set off on Trail #12. Such a promising start!

Looking back toward Marinzen as we set off on Trail #12. Such a promising start!

Younger people were passing us by, but we persevered. Then we came to a place where the trail might have gone straight or might have taken a left steeply uphill to a set of log steps with a railing. I was tempted to go straight, but a man was coming down from the left so it seemed a good bet that was the trail. No sign, of course. The next part was navigable, although basically a deer path with a steep drop off to the right. So glad we had our hiking sticks! Up and up we went, the drop to our right so steep that a misstep would mean waving goodbye and planning a funeral. Then we encountered an avalanche of boulders blocking the trail. It looked like a landslide from a long time ago. I wanted to turn back, but knowing how challenging the ascent had been, it made me weak in the knees to even think about it. Was there a trail that continued after the boulder field? Ric bravely scrambled up to see. Yes, he thought we could make it, so grabbing handholds on the boulders and carefully placing our feet so as to not twist an ankle or take a header over the cliff, we managed to clamber over the 40 feet of boulders blocking our way. It was not something one would expect on an “easy” hike.
Rest stop view. By this point most of the harrowing parts were over. Looking down on the valley where Castelrotto sits.

Rest stop view. By this point most of the harrowing parts were over. Looking down on the valley where Castelrotto sits.

Continuing on, now aided occasionally by some log railings to prevent a disastrous fall, at last we came to a lovely overlook with a picnic table, perfect for a rest. This was just over an hour into our supposedly 2.5-hour round trip, but we still had a long way to go. We could see the Cabinovia Alpe di Siusi and it was still a long way off. We knew our objective was past the line of the lift as it ascended. Our 1:25,000 scale hiking map showed we were past the rocky areas, but we hit one last bit of scree to navigate in an area of some water run-off then, luckily, the trail veered into the forest and the deer-path-with-a-drop-off disappeared in favor of a woody path with some rocks and roots. Relief! Eventually we joined a road and walked easily to Hotel Frommer. Walking time was about 2 hours. We are not fast, but we were moving as best we could. I think the trail is severely mislabeled at 1 hour. 
We were so concentrating on hiking that we did not take trail pictures. Oh I wish I had a picture of the boulder field and Ric crossing it! Here, the deer path is bordered by a fence to prevent falling. Not the case everywhere along this trail

We were so concentrating on hiking that we did not take trail pictures. Oh, I wish I had a picture of the boulder field and Ric crossing it! Here, the deer path is bordered by a fence to prevent falling. Not the case everywhere along this trail

In fact, in post-hike wonderment, I went seeking more information on this trail, which was very hard to find. A source I found in Italian put this section alone at 2 hours with 400 meters of elevation change given the ups-and-downs. This is, to our point-of-view, more accurate. Ric used his altimeter app to check the altitude at several points and determined the authors just checked the altitude at Marinzen and the altitude at Frommer and did the math, not accounting for higher points along the way. Losers. Oh, and the second source rated the trail intermedio, not easy.
Can you see the little blue ovals? That is the cabinovia that whisks people up-and-down from the Alpe di Siusi. We are nearing the end of the hike, having passed under it.

Can you see the little blue ovals? That is the cabinovia that whisks people up-and-down from the Alpe di Siusi. We are nearing the end of the hike, having passed under it.

Starving by now, our strudel long forgotten, we decided to have lunch at Hotel Frommer. But there was no one in sight. Seemed closed. Time to break out the emergency trail mix and, unbelievably, wait for a bus to rescue us. Since we are in a land where travelers and hikers are catered to with public transportation, we found while sitting at our little picnic rest area that there is a bus that stops at Hotel Frommer. Score! The next portion of the hike was to be on a different trail, and the signs indicated perhaps an hour, but based on the experience to this point, we had our doubts. We did not want to chance it. In 20 minutes a bus came along and for €8.50 per person we rode down in comfort, all the way to Castelrotto, instead of finishing the hike.
Note the sign at teh bottom, 1 hour to Marinzen. We were 2+ at this point on the "easy" hike.

Note the sign at the bottom, 1 hour to Marinzen. We were 2+ at this point on the “easy” hike.

In a bit of a snit since we have now done three hikes from this book and two of them severely under-estimated the duration, I wrote a very thorough email to the author, who had invited feedback. Wouldn’t you know, the email bounced. I’ve tracked down the publisher in Castelrotto and forwarded our thoughts to an “info@” email address. No reply as yet.
Thank goodness we are experienced enough to weather a hike like this. Thank God we didn’t have small children along! Or a dog! Our old collie would’ve been impossible to get over the boulder field. The book has warnings about hikes not suitable for kids, but this particular trek carried no such warning. Surely things change in trail maintenance over the years, and this book is 6-years-old now, but I guarantee that boulder field has probably been there since before local hero Luis Trenker was in utero. It was not an “easy” hike.
Baby goats!

Baby goats!

 
It's all about the view and I love this one of the Sciliar and Punta Santner.

It’s all about the view and I love this one of the Sciliar and Punta Santner.

Hiking in the Dolomites, July 2015

25 Jul
25 July 2015. This post may be a bore for some readers, but at least the pictures are pretty. I am writing it mostly so I have a good reference for “what I did on my summer vacation” and can remember which hikes to do and not to do next summer.
For hiking enthusiasts, especially those who are “of a certain age” this may be a reference for hikes in the Dolomites that do not require pitons, crampons, or the energy of a 30-year-old. Many of the guidebooks talk about “easy hikes” and then do not tell you about the knee-pounding descents or heart-pounding ascents, not to mention narrow trails above steep ravines and gorges. Some so-called “easy” hikes end up being 4+ hours. We can do that now-and-then, but not every day.
FYI, the pedometer readings include everything for the day, whether on the trail or walking to dinner or to get groceries.
This is an abbreviated version, believe it or not. It was a very active two weeks!

Monday, July 6 – Long way down: Rasciesa to Ortisei via Val d’Anna

We happened upon this carving in the middle of the forest, unsigned, a  gift from a local woodcarver.

During our descent, we happened upon this carving in the middle of the forest, unsigned, a gift from a local woodcarver.

We arrived in Ortisei on Sunday afternoon in the middle of their sagra and settled in. It was HOT so we decided to take it easy with a mostly downhill hike through the forest on Monday. WRONG! We ascended via a funicolare at Rasciesa which we have done many times prior. Rather than hike the sun-exposed Rasciesa plateau in the heat and humidity, we decided to take “easy” Trail #35 east, descending on Trail #9.  Bad move. It was a knee-jarring, quadriceps-pounding, mostly-exposed, slippery-rock-studded mistake. Three-and-a-half hours of downhill tromping made us wonder why we came on vacation. Now we know why we saw only mountain bikes and no other walkers. Actually, it would not have been so bad had we not missed our turn to a planned rifugio where we could have rested and had some refreshment (hiking goes better with strudel), followed by a wooded path following a burbling stream through a valley. Oh, would-that-had-happened! One sign pointed downhill to the rifugio, but when we were 100 meters down the hill, another sign pointed back the direction we had come. In frustration, and believing ourselves to be near the finish-line, we carried on, but it was another hour to the bottom. Ugh! It was a good workout in terms of calorie-burning, and at least we were in good enough shape we could still get out of bed the next morning.
Pedometer: Didn’t freaking work! Estimate 8 km for the day.

Tuesday, July 7 – Abandoning waterfalls for high ground: Monte Pana to Saltria

VIew from the trail to Saltria.

View from the trail to Saltria.

Planning an easy hike today, we took the bus to the village of Santa Cristina and the Monte Pana chair lift, where at the base we were to find an “easy” waterfall walk. We found the waterfalls – at least one of them – after hiking across an unsigned meadow, but no official path. Having Val Gardena Passes in hand, we could ride any of 12 lifts in the valley, so we thought we’d ride the chairlift and have a look around. Of course, we found a rifugio (really more of a hotel) at the top of the lift, so over a cappuccino we pondered our options. There was a bambini trail, but that seemed too silly. Saltria, a location we know well, was purported to be a hike of 1h:45m so off we went, knowing that at the end we would find a hotel with a nice café and a bus to Compatsch, followed by a
Cute little Santa Cristina.

Cute little Santa Cristina.

dramatic cableway descent and a comfy bus back to Ortisei. This hike, for the record, followed Trail #30A through mostly wooded terrain to Trail #18, which leads to Saltria. There were a few nice viewpoints, and some sun exposure although mostly at the start and finish. Hot and humid, so we had quite a trek…not the easy waterfall walk we had planned but an easy enough hour-and-forty-five. The Alpe di Siusi was having a record heat wave and this was the second consecutive 36-degree Celsius day. I felt sorry for the little ponies at Compatsch who had to stand in the sun waiting for tourists to go on carriage rides. Brutal for them! The cows did not seem to mind the weather.
Pedometer: 18,766 steps; 10.3 km

Thursday, July 9 – Cool at last: Ciampinoi to Passo Sella

Snuggled up against the Sassolungo, there is an vast terrace and lawn. The little pods swivel on their bases.

Snuggled up against the Sassolungo, there is a vast terrace and lawn. The seating pods swivel on their bases.

It was a pleasant 10 C/50 F at the top of the lift. Jackets required! Sunny and clear, hiking sticks at the ready, we headed off to Rifugio Emilio Comici, our first stop, which turned out to be a gem. The rifugio is tucked up under the Sassolungo, modern, with an enormous terrace, a generous lawn with sun chairs, and the cutest pods for lounging and dining. It also has THE BEST bathrooms, employing technology at every turn and clean as the proverbial whistle.  Heading off after a perfect espresso and, for me, yogurt with 4 kinds of fresh berries, we completed our hike to the large hotel at Passo Sella, complete with bar (serving strudel of course), restaurant, and the strangest lift we’ve ever seen. The “cable cars” looked like flying refrigerators and we took one up to the VERY high Rifugio Toni Demetz. Click on any picture to enlarge and view the slide show.
The Sella Pass is at 2244 meters/7362 feet, and the rifugio is at 2685 meters/8809 feet.   One cannot merely step into one of the refrigerator lifts, one is bodily thrown in by two young, strong men who use a firm grip to propel you and slam the door firmly behind you before you can change your mind. At the other end, they pull you out and thrust you off to the side to avoid being hit by incoming cars. Repeat upon return. Ric and I did not understand the drill as when we arrived there was no line, so we did not manage to get into the same compartment. We rode separately, waving from time-to-time across a divide of a few meters. On the way down we managed to get thrust into the same car. For the record, we took Trail #21 to Comici and #526 to Passo Sella.
One can continue to hike from Passo Sella, or return via the same route, but we opted for lunch at the very nice restaurant, then took a bus (included in the free bus card most lodging establishments give you) back to Ortisei.
Pedometer: 20,815 steps; 11.5 km

Friday July 10 – Same but different: Ciampinoi to Mont Seüra

Trail side company.

Trail side company.

Thursday provided exactly the type of hike we like: clear, cool weather, glorious scenery, long enough but not too long, good exercise, fabulous photo ops, food in the middle and at the end, and good transportation. (A loop hike or one with good transportation is ever more desirable than an out-and-back.) We liked Thursday’s hike so much that we returned to Ciampinoi and this time headed west, opposite of the prior day. Rifugio Emilio Comici was on the way, so we knew exactly where second-breakfast was to be found. With our trusty map in hand, we set out from Comici intending to take #526B to Mont Seüra. We ended up on #526A (a harder trail) because we missed a tiny little turn onto a short portion of #528 that led to #526B, sooooo we ended up on a hike across a scree field that was 1¼ hours longer than planned. And we had not even had strudel! The final section of the hike was across a beautiful meadow with a killer view of the Alpe di Siusi in the distance, and since we survived, I have no complaints.
Pedometer: 18,926; 10.4 km
Ric hikes across the unexpected field of scree. We were supposed to be in the meadow below.

Ric hikes across the unexpected field of scree. We were supposed to be in the meadow below.

From Mont Seura, view of the Alpe di Siusi, largest high-alpine meadow in Europe.

From Mont Seura, view of the Alpe di Siusi, largest high-alpine meadow in Europe.

Sunday July 12 – Witch hunt: Fiè to Castello di Presule

Once upon a time, this area witnessed the persecution of nine women judged to be witches. In the 16th century, they were tortured and burned, source of the so-called Schlernhexen stories. Today, the emblem of a witch on a broom is used in marketing the area to tourists, enticing them with the natural beauty. Go figure.
Castello Presule from early in the hike.

Castello Presule from early in the hike.

We started with a bus ride from Ortisei to Fiè, about 45 minutes. Although one can actually take a bus to the village of Presule and visit the castle, we had not hiked below the Sciliar (German: Schlern) on this side, the west side, and were drawn by what we thought would be a shady hike. It was about 50% exposed to the sun, so not bad. Nothing spectacular but nice enough, with some good views of the castle. We were too close to the mountain to see it, though.
Arriving at the castle, we missed the English tour by 10 minutes and the next one was 3 hours off.  We settled for coffee in the shade. This was one of those locations that makes you shake your head in wonder. There was a castle here as early as 1200. The current one dates to the early 16th century. Yet there is a tiny coffee bar where a nice lady pulls good shots into ceramic cups and dispenses directions on bus routes and schedules. There was a nice shady picnic area to lounge in before hiking 20 minutes downhill to wait for a bus back to Ortisei, where we arrived in time for lunch. Not a bad outing on a day that was getting too hot for hiking comfort.
Pedometer: 17,835; 9.8 km 

Monday July 13 – Giorno di riposo: Shopping in Bolzano

Piazza Walther, Bolzano

Piazza Walther, Bolzano

In a longer trip, taking a day off (giorno di riposo) is a nice change of pace. No hiking and no sightseeing, just a morning shopping expedition in Bolzano, followed by a fabulous lunch at a very inventive new restaurant in Ortisei, and an afternoon of relaxing, reading, writing, organizing photos, and so on. So relaxing we didn’t even go out to dinner.
In fact, on this trip we decided to prepare meals in more often. After all, we’re retired and we have time! The result of cooking a few simple meals was a savings of about Euro 400.00 over what we would normally spend in two weeks of travel. Niente male!
Pedometer: 10,304; 5.7 km 

Tuesday July 14 – Harder than we thought: Rasciesa to Malga Brogules

Little Rifugio Malga Brogules, beneath the Seceda Plateau, Puez-Odle.

Little Rifugio Malga Brogules, beneath the Seceda Plateau, Puez-Odle.

Back to Rasciesa, from the funicolare we headed east, opposite of our hike on Saturday. This was labeled an easy hike by some source or another. I’d say it had nothing technical, but there was a VERY steep downhill at the beginning, along a path of set stone (Appia Antica style, but less level and with a significant downhill grade) which required one to watch every step. So happy to have my hiking sticks! I have become a very cautious hiker since injuring my knee in a fall in Roma last March. The knee is still a bit grumpy, though not painful, and the thought of re-injury makes me shudder. This trail (#35) also has a very steep descent to the rifugio Malga Brogules, about a kilometer of the same type of stone path. There was no turning back as the thoughts of a bathroom and espresso were front-of-mind. It was, however, the longest kilometer I have ever walked.
This rifugio was under major renovation and I feared would be out-of-service. Luckily, in the spirit of true mountain hospitality they had table service and freshly-baked strudel as well as a sparkling clean facility. Retracing our steps on this out-and-back hike we found climbing the steep sections of paving stones much easier than descending them. This was a 4h:10m hike altogether, with a ½ hour stop at the rifugio and a couple of brief water/rest stops along the way.
Pedometer: 24,005; 13.2 km

Friday July 17 – Friends in high places: Hiking Piz Sorega

Ortisei in the morning. The two steeples look the same size from this perspective, but the closer one is a fraction of the size of the big church on the hill.

Ortisei in the morning. The two steeples look the same size from this perspective, but the closer one is a fraction of the size of the big church on the hill.

Our friend Marjory was staying in San Cassiano in the Alta Badia, so we headed over the Passo Gardena to meet her. Holy cow, what a bus trip! Fabulous scenery and so happy I did not have to drive so I could look at the view! We had promised ourselves that with two weeks in Ortisei we would take some time to explore neighboring valleys we had heard about: The Val Badia, Val di Fassa, etc. (We made it to the Val Pusteria in June.) Here we are, two days from end-of-trip when we finally head over the pass to expand our horizons.
The Alta Badia is fabulous, too. We were impressed with the mountains that are just the other side of the Sella Group from the Val Gardena. Marjory scouted out a lovely hike and we could see the potential for a lot of exploring just from the top of the lift at Piz Sorega, and there are many other towns in this little enclave that beg exploration as well. I think a small side trip is in order for 2016. Thanks for the introduction to the A.B. Marjory!
Pedometer: 14,859; 8.2 km

Saturday July 18 – Last day hike: Mont Seuc to Monte Piz and back

We have fond memories of our Christmas Day hike, so we did about half of it, returning to Mont Seuc after coffee at Hotel Icaro. It was an easy hike across to Icaro. We returned via Sole so we could take the chairlift to make an easy morning. Lots of people out, and thank God it was cooler due to rain the night before. In fact, we had a terrific thunderstorm. We would have expected at least two each week, but only had one good one. No doubt a result of the wacky summer weather: climate change in action. I am worried for our planet.
Pedometer17,952; 9.9 km
Three years ago I took this picture from Mont Seuc, looking toward the Sassolungo & Sasso Piatto.
Hopeful benches, 2012. This is the view that made me fall in love with the Val Gardena.

Hopeful benches, 2012. This is the view that made me fall in love with the Val Gardena.

Same location in 2015
Same benches, three years later, but today we are in the clouds!

Same benches, three years later, but today we are in the clouds!

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