Long installment ahead
Part 2 of 2
When we arrived to the hotel we checked in and went to eat supper in the dining room. The food was great every day.
The hotel is nice and modern. Easily a 4 star. The only downside of this hotel is the Bathroom... while they wanted to present a modern style hotel, they installed in ALL bathrooms square toilets. I think it is enough to stop here... Oh boy is that uncomfortable...
View from our room
Monday morning we headed out to "Saas Pordoi" about a 30 minute drive from the hotel. The road is as winding as can be. I've driven plenty, in many countries, but let me tell you, the drive here (in the Marmolada area) is not easy. Not only do you have to fully concentrate with both hands on the wheel while making 350 degree turns on steep and narrow roads without gates - but you have motorcycles passing you at approximately 140 km. And here and there some thrillers zoom by with bicycles...
BTW at the end of this trip I felt much more comfortable to drive in the area. It takes some practice but everyone can learn the techniques how to navigate the roads and/or pass trucks on those 10-mile-no-exit winding roads.
We parked, bought a ticket, the price for ALL attractions in the area was a joke against the price you pay at popular attractions in Switzerland.
Saas Pordoi is unique with its rocky surface and interesting formation as you can see on the pictures. It really reminded us of when we visited the Grand Canyon in AZ. When you get up you have really nice views around but you have to be veeery careful where you walk. (There are some gates, but not everywhere). It doesn't matter if it's a hole in the surface or a 900 foot cliff. No gates.
After Saas Pordoi we headed to Saas Sella. We followed Google maps until we arrived to the destination. When we arrived I was a bit confused. I expected to arrive to a cable car entrance with a nice big parking lot. Instead we arrived to this hut on the side of the road.
So we parked on the side of the road to check it out. Turns out that this is a restaurant on the Sella Pass (way) from here you can take many hikes. Aha so We made peace with the situation and decided to go for a stroll. We hiked for 5 minutes and decided to rest on our mat. As we sat down our eyes met a stunning mountain right in front of us. Pictures DON'T do justice at all.
Note the people on the bottom right side
It was a such a lovely view and quite all around. After hanging around we saw a cable car a few miles down and decided to check it out. On the way I stopped for a minute to photograph some cows and my car
When we arrived there we saw narrow carts where people have to squeeze in and stand throughout the ride... we paid, and were literally pushed inside this narrow cart standing, not being able to turn around or move. It felt like being caged in for some 10 minutes.
We later found out that this is indeed the Sella Pass but this cable car is known here as "Sassolungo". On top there is nothing to do for poor hikers. This place is made for the experienced and adventures climbers. But we did enjoy the view and headed back down. Then drove back to the hotel.Tuesday
After a full breakfast we left towards Latemar We were to stop on the way at Lake Karersee https://www.google.com/?as_qdr=all#safe=strict&as_qdr=all&q=Karersee
which is one of the most photographed spots in the Dolomites. And for good reason. A blue lake surrounded by evergreen trees with rocky mountains in the background. Unfortunately the sun didn't play along nicely with the exposure of the camera, plus my ND filter stayed in the car.
Nevertheless, it was a surreal scene and was worth the stop, despite the overloaded parking lot and hundreds of tourists pouring in. Assuming because this place is free of charge...
Afterwards we drove towards Latemar mountain hoping to enjoy the famous mountain slide www.latemar.it/en/summer/alpine-coaster-gardone-summer
. Unfortunately for us, despite the tens of hours of research I put into this trip I had mistaken the entrance and went here http://www.obereggen.com/en/the-resort/
. Meaning that we went to this mountain but to a totally different entrance which was about a 2 hour walk or 45 minute drive from the mountain slide (Alpine slide)
Despite the mistake we decided to check it out. Here too like yesterday this place is meant for the real mountain hikers. after resting a bit we decided to go back down.
After Latemar we drove to (can't remember the name... sorry. somewhere near Bolzano) As the hotel recommended, it was to have an incredible view. The view did not disappoint. It was spectacular! If you want to go here make sure to go in the afternoon, when the sun shines on the rocks. It was a really enjoyable place.
Afterwards we walked across the street in search for a gift shop, and spotted those people playing the Swiss horn. (Which is one of the hardest musical instruments to play) then went to Bolzano for some shopping
Somehow I found this name funny
On the way home we kept our eyes open for one more cable car... when we saw a sign "Carezze Ski-king of the Dolomites" okay so will check it out. Here too the place is meant for the professional mountain climbers. But we actually enjoyed more than we thought because the rocks were right in front of us.
Note the cows
Plus since it was late in the afternoon the effect of the sun resulted in some cool photography...
Afterwards it was time to go back to the hotel where I took this pictureWednesday
Today is on the agenda the highlight of this trip. A visit to the actual Marmolada then we were to drive to Venice. Return the car and visit the city for a supper in Gam Gam.
For Marmolada I will let the pictures talk even though its hard to comprehend the magnificent, stunning views.
Afterwards we drove to Venice. And took Alilaguna "for the last time probably" ate supper, I recommend the Pita plate, it was really cool. Then took a Bus to the Hilton hotel. Thursday we woke up early, went to the airport, and flew back home with UA.
Here are a few tips I am happy to share.
1) If you are planning a hiking trip, get yourself a folding mat. I bought this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0185PVG9K
and it was such a hit. We were able to sit down EVERYWHERE. On small sharp stones or on snow, on wet grass or on anything. Anywhere. Anytime.
2) If it's hot outside and your water bottle gets heated from the sun, but you really want cold water: Buy a 1.5 litter water bottle. Spill out about a third. Put it in the freezer laying on the width. If the cap is blocked by water than tilt the bottle more upwards. Let it freeze overnight. The next morning fill up the missing third with cold water. This should last you throughout the day for 2 people and will stay cold.
3) You love hikes but are bored when resting? Or don't know what to do in a rainy day? We brought along a badminton set and really enjoyed it. The only problem was that high up was pretty windy.