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Italy's Dolomites. Wow!

We hiked and took numerous lifts around these famous peaks.

85 °F

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Day Six - One remarkable and challenging drive

We awoke to our last sunny day in Fussen. I got up early and went for a fun to the nearby Forgensee Lake. A nice way to start the day.
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We reluctantly packed our things and left the pretty view at our apartment. Our next place would be significantly smaller and simpler.
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After a quick bakery stop, we hit the road and drove through scenic Austria. I made DH pull off to get a picture of this beautiful lake.
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After just over an hour, we detoured up a steep hill to our 4th luge of the trip in Imst, Austria. This one involved a small gondola ride up a mountain. The set up was amazing but we unfortunately got stuck behind some slow riders and could not go full speed like we had hoped. Still a beautiful view and nice way to break up a long drive.
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After a couple more hours, we arrived in Italy. We stopped in the town of Bressanone for a simple lunch of pizza and gelato. The best gelato I have had probably since the last time I was in Italy. So flavorful. Our pizza was simple but yummy. It was sold by weight instead of by the slice. It filled us up for around $10.
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Little did we know that the last 1.5 hour drive would be the most challenging drive DH had ever encountered. There were more hairpin turns, skinny roads, bicyclists, giant buses, than you can imagine. The dolomites were in full view and drivers of all kinds were out to enjoy. What a harrowing and gorgeous ride! We were so close to the edge that I almost picked a couple of wildflowers at one point. I went between ogling over the views to closing my eyes tight to avoid seeing drop offs below. It was truly amazing!
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We were so happy to arrive at our humble little pension. We were all sharing one simple room for the next three nights. Luckily, we aren't too sick of each other yet and the space is working out.
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Happy hour was strategically located next door to our hotel. A microbrewery of all things! They served snacks with our rare IPA and saison. We were more than happy.
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Dinner was at a family-run place called Osteria Heidi. It was delicious. I had goulash polenta, DH had some yummy steak, and the girls had spinach speatzle. We were all full and happy and ready to explore the area.
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Day Seven - day hikes and lucky weather

After a good night's sleep, we had a nice provided breakfast. I especially enjoyed the homemade cakes, yogurt and fresh fruit. We went off for a hike around our town, Campitello di Fasso. Views were beautiful and we found ourselves in the next town of Canazei.
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DH and DD#2 shared some currywurst. They both love it!

We walked back along the river and had some snacks and drinks in our room. We are missing ice and cold beverages but figure it is a pretty small complaint when we are enjoying such remarkable scenery.
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Everyone seemed to need some afternoon downtime, except me. I left the family and headed up the mountain. I wasn't exactly sure where I was headed but became very motivated as I saw other people heading up and down a well-travelled trail. Google maps was very helpful and encouraged me to keep going up. There are these amazing refugios located along most hikes in this region. The refugios have food and drink and a place to rejuvenate. I walked past two of them before deciding the third would be my end-point. DH tracked me on "find my iphone" and couldn't believe I was so far up the mountain. I was tired but excited to be discovering new terrain. I couldn't stop! I love my family but it was so nice making my own hiking decisions without anyone complaining. Ha!
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I came across a farm with sheep and goats, a man selling honey, some nifty wood art, and a pretty way to stack firewood.
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After the hike, we found a local dairy for frozen yogurt. We tried it with berries, nutella, and honey. So refreshing after that hike.

Dinner was at a traditional place with pizzas and pastas. I love that I can have wine with dinner for $4. Such a treat!
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We are hitting the sack early so for our last day riding gondolas and lifts up and down these magnificent mountains!
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Day Eight - Gondolas, Lifts, and Views. BEST DAY EVER!

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I was especially excited to wake up this morning knowing we were buying lift passes to ride eight different gondolas and chairlifts around Val Di Fassa region of the Dolomites. We explored the Belvedere, Col Rodella and the famous Sass Pordoi. I should mention that the day pass cost around $36 for adults, $22 for kids. It seemed like a very good deal considering the amount of terrain covered.

It all started with the Col Rodella lift just walking distance from our hotel.
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We were awestruck by the views at the top and could hardly stop taking pictures.
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We descended a bit by a chairlift and DD#2 found a trampoline to bounce around on.
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We took two more small gondolas before hiking about 40 minutes to the base of Sass Pordoi.
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We even saw a bunch of Porsches doing a tour through these famous and windy roads. They made a pit-stop at a refugio we happened to walk by.
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After a steep ascent, we took our sweaty bodies to the most impressive viewpoint of the day. Pordoi is also known as the Terrace of the Dolomites.
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This area is huge for both road and mountain cycling. We were impressed by the number of cyclists and history surrounding the area.
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At one point, we were on a large gondola almost to ourselves!
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We hardly heard a word of English spoken all day and enjoyed watching the variety of people enjoying the mountains all in different ways. I felt so inspired and happy to part of the action on an exquisite day. I'm so thankful the weather cooperated!
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After many hours of various hikes and lifts, we found a place for happy hour. Most people were drinking the famous orange aperol spritz cocktails. Delicious! I love that drinks come with free snacks in Italy. I ended the day with a tasty salad. (An entree salad and glass of local wine was $11.) The kids were wiped and had cheeseburgers in the room. What a memorable day and time in the Dolomites. I hope to return in the winter so I can ski some of these famous slopes. I feel like we saw so much during our three nights yet I know we barely scratched the surface.
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On to Venice in the morning. Ciao!

Posted by familyineurope 20:22 Archived in Italy Tagged col gondola lifts di dolomites sass campitello fassa pordoi rodella Comments (0)

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