Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Dolomites

After leaving Bolzano we headed off through the Dolomites. How do I begin to describe them - they are totally breathtaking. It was one of the few times in my life that being short was a bonus, as driving through the winding mountain roads I could see up through the windscreen, and from my low vantage point had a much better view than Andy did (especially as he was the driver and therefore concentrating on the road).

We made a stop at Lake Carezza, which was a blue-green lake with crystal-clear water surrounded by mountains and fir trees (much sought after for making violins, apparently).

And at the cafe where we stopped we discovered we were in Apple Strudel country!

After that it was more of the spectacular Dolomites, and of course, the picture-postcard Germanic buildings and churches.

Driving through this awe-inspiring scenery Andy spotted a hotel (called Casa Padon) that looked like it might be a good prospect for the night.  He couldn't have been more right.  It was quaint (though not very old), with a beautiful outlook, friendly staff and the price (which was very reasonable) included a three-course dinner. It was located in Pieve Di Livinallongo, in an area of the Dolomites where neither Italian nor German is the native language, but Ladinia. It was the scene of some of the most bloody battles of WWI to gain the top of the Col di Lana.  The names on the memorial on the outside of the church speak volumes, with person after person of the same family listed amongst the dead.

Casa Padon

Andy enjoying a coffee in the sun

View to the left

View straight ahead

View slightly to the right

View to the far right

Clouds starting to hide the mountain

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