I’m not sure what we did to deserve it, but in the morning we saw bits of blue sky which became larger and larger, and then the sun burst out and the clouds lifted from the mountains, and finally we saw them in all their splendour. Our host recommended a hike into the mountains, and without hesitation we headed forth with a few biscuits, Nutella and water packed for the trip.
Oh the mountains!!! When I was a teenager I never understood why my parents did it… Why spend hours struggling up a hill only to come down again exhausted. Now I understand. The prospect of a breathtaking view just beyond the ridge, in the next valley, over that hill… the drive to get UP there… Well the car drove us fairly high up to start, offering us this magnificent view.
Then we set out through the forest, up always up, winding through the woods until we reached the first landmark…
From here we went up up and up some more, through ravines and scree and snow…
Until we reached the top of the pass, Forcella Grande. Every step was worth it! The views into the next valley were something that one could never see from the bottom. In fact, we reached the last feasible point, as snow prevented much further progress.
Brave girls we are! It took us 2.5 hours to get up (500 m climb) and 1.5 hours to get back down.
We were disappointed that the restaurant near the bottom was closed, as there is nothing better than a cold beer after a hike like this. Our disappointment lasted for rather a long time, because no matter where you are in Italy, the period between 2 pm and 5 pm is basically dead. We thought “we will never go hungry in Italy…” Well, if you climb a mountain at 10 am and come back at 2:30 pm with no lunch packed, you will, because good luck finding some place open.
After some driving towards our next destination, we finally spotted a “bar bianco” (meaning a white bar, which translates into a cheese and deli shop), where we finally got a bite to eat and HURRAY!!!!! a beer!
The day is still far from over though! Waiting for us a mere 100 km (but 2,5 hours) away is our host at Giusti Winery, at the base of the Dolomiti and in the midst of Prosecco land… And I can imagine nothing more welcome after today’s hike than a cosy room and private wine tasting!