Just came back from an amazing “walking trip” to the Dolomites in Italy.
Unfortunately, I sustained a leg injury, the week before. At one point it looked like my Dr wouldnt let me go, and would insist I stayed at home and rested it.
I’d been planning the trip for 3 years, so I was delighted when I was allowed to go (I knew I couldnt walk more than a few 100 metres, but I’m a resourcefull person and I knew I’d work something out).
I’d been previously almost 30 years ago. At the time, my main walking trousers were Levi jeans and my Argos tent cost £40.
Flying from Manchester (and ennoyingly, I’d have to fly back a different way) we arrived in Venice.
After some dinner and a few drinks, we were picked up by our transport and driven to Dobiacho with the rest of our group.
The hotel we stayed in was superb, the staff friend and very efficiency.
The bar where we spent many of our evenings, had an extensive wine list and a friendly barman from Macedonia.
The view from our window beckoned…
But alas I couldnt go out walking. After breakfast, the group headed off and Nikki went with them.
I headed into the town to recce the area and find some interesting things to do.
First off, I find this map to some sort of water plant. I’ve got something a bit more exciting in mind.
I look around a bit more (walking very slowly) and then realise, the best way to find out whats going on, maybe the internet.
So, back to our hotel room, and this dainty table arrangment, reminiscent of the type of thing in Rhyle caravans when I was a youngster.
A bit of google and a trip to the conveniently located tourest information next door, I’ve got a plan and I’m all set.
A couple of pints and wait for Nikki to come back.
In the morning, we walk to the station and get this train to Lienze, in Austria.
Trains have come a long way since the last time I was here, and the delapedated thing I drove before has been replaced by this sleek electric train that was speacious and comfortable.
There wasnt much to see there, appart from the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of an Austrian mountain town.
Like any mountain river, this one was extremely fast flowing and we did’nt see any canoes on it.
As we wander up the hill, we see this sort of helter skelter thing that you can race down, operating the breaks and steering it yourself.
It’s next to a ski slope, so I guess its there so theres something to do on the hillside, when its summer.
We arrive at the Bruck castle.
Annoyingly, Monday is when everything closes in this part of the world, so we didnt get to see inside.
The grounds were very nice, so we went exploring through the forest and around the lake.
That evening, we have dinner at the Ariston bar and one of the nicest ham and mushroom pizza’s I’ve ever eaten.
Next day, were back on the train.
This time were going to a place called Bolzano and we’ve got a specific goal in sight.
But first, we wander around the market.
Nikki spots some things she likes and we carry on our way to see…
A 5000 year old man found frozen in the mountains.
Archealogists have been able to find out all sorts of things by looking at what he ate, what he was wearing and stuff like that.
It’s the most significant find of its kind in history.
The following day, Nikki goes out walking, and I head off to pursue my own projects.
On this occasion, a bus from the town goes right next to the Tre Cime (or 3 fingers). The jewel in the crown of the Dolomite mountains.
I still can’t walk very far, but its an easy path and I take it slow, resting frequently.
Slight problem, is that from my viewing point they look like this.
If I’d been able to walk another mile I could have taken this picture which captures them much better. Never mind, at least I’ve been there, despite my injury.
Because I got the first bus, nobody is there. I wait for 45 minutes for someone to come along and take a picture, but in the end I just do this selfie, pointing back down into the valley.
But its a nice day, so I wander a bit more.
Looking back across the valley to the hut.
I walk back and get the bus back into the town, feeling quite elated.
Back in town, the Italian army are on manouvres.
They have a base just next to our hotel, and I get to see this Chinook landing (along with several attack helicopters).
Following day, and it’s my return to Cortina.
30 years ago, while interailing, the “Dolimtes” were basicaly a trip to Cortina and some walks around there.
We camped in the town and bought Pizza’s for our evening meal, while spending most days out walking.
I was delighted to find myself on this exact spot from 30 years ago.
My brother and I saw a Ferari. David was elated. I said well Dave, its not that uncomon is it. He asked me to clarify.
I said well, its not like you’ve seen a Harley Davidson parked there.
David replied, do you mean like that one ? and parked next to the Ferari was a Harley Davidson.
None of them were around on this day, but it a moment of pure nostalgia.
We continued to explore the town and I saw this old bridge.
Last time we were here, money was really tight, but this time we had a bit more resource and it was possible to get a cable car up to Faloria.
Spectacular views of the valley and town bellow, and here you can even see some climbers.
One thing that did facinate me last time, was Cortina was featured in the film For your eyes only.
The ski slope, Tobogan run and various other places all featured in the dramatic Ski-ing scene.
On the top of <name> there was a really interesting nature walk. Along the way, we saw this hut from the Silvester Stalone film Cliffhanger.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, I’m off to Malta in a few hours with another old friend, Nick Barker.
Near and far, the search for adventure continues…