The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy, and are by far, the most dramatic and beautiful mountains I have ever seen. They're made of dolomite, a rock similar to limestone, and are light gray and very jagged. Lush, green meadows with grazing cows, horses, and sheep dot the meadow below them.
The Dolomites, while technically in Italy, make you feel like you're in Germany. At the end of WWI, the region was ceded by Austria to Italy, but the residents here have never really embraced the Italian way of life. Their primary language is German (which was confusing. Do I speak English, Italian, or German? Hmmm, well since I can really only speak one of those languages, I guess the choice was easy.) The towns have a heavy Bavarian influence, and the people look German (fair-skinned and blue-eyed). And forget about finding gelato here. It's mostly dumplings and strudel.
|Our "home base" and a typical town, Castelrotto|
Castelrotto is adorable. It's how you would imagine a German town, very beautiful and well-kept. Here's a link to our hotel, Hotel Wolf or "al Lupo" in Italian. Hotel Wolf
The only issue... our hotel is located next to the town's proud and joy, a 250-foot bell tower. It chimes every 15 minutes. And remember how I mentioned we slept with our windows open? Yeah, you get the idea.... Not a lot of sleep.
We chose to hike Europe's largest high-alpine meadow, called Alpe di Siusi. It was classified as "moderately-strenuous" and should have taken about four hours. It's around five or six miles, but ended up taking us about six hours. (I move a little slower these days.) The hike was great. We had 360-degree views everywhere we looked and traveled through some cute German towns.
|Mooo've out of our way please!|
Some of the hike was flat or downhill, and a lot of it was uphill. That was tough, but once you got to the top, boy, the views were worth it! The other challenge, getting some of the animals to move. LOL. We saw some horses, and lots of cows. The cows summer here in the meadow and occasionally would block our path.
We always knew where they were though. They wear those old-fashioned cow-bells. You'd hear the sound everywhere!
We can't wait to come back; just gotta practice my yodeling first! Ciao!