I´ve been meaning to write about our recent trip to see the Dolomites but then life got so busy and somewhat that ” writing thing” never get a hold on me , my mind was so empty and I sit in front of my laptop and still nothing. Good news though, but not until now.I already made our photobooks from our last trip and to tell you honestly, when I looked back, I wished that we are there once again…it´s one of those trips that you´ve never left yet, but you wanted to go back once again…
Now I´ve spilled that secret : We really wanted to go back there again and hike some more!
The Dolomites,also known as the Pale Mountains, the famous Dolomites of Italy, and here in Germany, we called it “Dolomiten” .Obviously the name came because these mountain ranges is made up of sedimentary rocks and has a high percentage of dolomitic minerals.Italy has the right to boast about it. Absolutely it´s one of the world´s nature gems and best kept secret destination here in Europe.It´s peaks are tremendously intimidating, totally! Maybe that´s the reason why Reihnold Messner loved this and inspired to summit all the 14 peaks over 8,000 meters, including Mt. Everest! Just imagine having the Dolomites as your childhood playground!
I love everything about mountains and Dolomites is one happy place for me.The area we´ve explored just had everything.From lustrous alpine meadows, nature parks, camping areas, gorgeous lakes and of course, the majestic peaks of the mountain ranges makes it all an idyllic place .
Places like this are also a photographer´s dream, my dream place. You see, views like this makes my jaw drop, makes me silent and in awe of everything. Just like the feeling when we hike through Berchtesgaden and Königsee last May, this time I am just thankful once again to see another scenic natural paradise .It´s actually my first time to visit Italy and I am glad that we´ve taken this scenic route. I think you should see places like this at least once in your lifetime. No, I think one lifetime is not enough.
Anyway,I knew nothing about Dolomiten not until I´ve seen a part of it. I have made it a goal to explore more the Dolomiten especially a hike through the Tre Cime de Lavarado or the Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen) with my daughter next year and we are all excited about it.
Just like Berchtesgadener Land , the mountain ranges of the Dolomites are also UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009. It has a rich history of War and Peace since WWI which adds more to it´s charm. We went on a family adventure, not on a holiday. Although we planned on exploring the parts of Süd Tirol after exploring Venice, coming to see Dolomiten was actually came out of surprise. I never researched about it or looked it up since all I can think about is the other places that we´re going. So you can imagine how surprised I am once I saw the mountain peaks as we approached the charming little villages of Calalzo di Cadore,Auronzo, and of course, the impressive Cortina d’Ampezzo and more…
I was suddenly silent and just sighed. This place is so beautiful.
The mountain ranges are so high and mighty.The Ooohhs and Ahhhss are just coming out naturally. This place is not made to be admired when you are driving or in the passenger seat. You really need to get out, walk, hike, run, cycle or just navigate through it to really have a real “Dolomites” experience and even photos doesn´t give it justice.
We visited in the most “touristic” peak season, in the end of August, summer time here in Europe. It´s also the time where almost everyone in Europe is having their vacation. We actually didn´t have much choice since this is the only dates that we are free from work.The bookings we´ve made are on short -listed and considering the tight Corona measures, we are glad that we are both fully vaccinated. But then we chose to stay near the small village of Lienz, just between the border of Austria and Italy. During this time, we are obligated to do a Corona Test for my daughter since she is not yet vaccinated.Driving through the border few times in a day is no hassle since we only care about exploring the Dolomiten.After all, it´s all part of the adventure.
And again, these views….!
Another highlight from our Dolomiten adventure was hopping from pristine lakes to another.It´s summer but the water is still very cold and we are wearing layers. I was feeling so cold on this day. Swimming is not allowed in these lakes since it´s a protected areas and nature reserve. Every single one is impressive in the areas of Sesto and the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature park.With turquoise clear waters, mirror-mountain reflections and majestic panoramas, you can´t take one from another. Our goal was to see Lago di Braies, but since we did not plan ahead, we actually didn´t booked ahead for the public transport and the parking was already so full when we came. We don´t want to take the risk that time of squeezing ourselves in a full bus when we have a child who is not yet vaccinated.But then, it still did not dissapoint us since we found another pretty destinations.We ended up doing a hike in this area, having a lunch with the view of Lago Dobbiaco and rode the paddle boat.
But definitely, the view from above is different. The sun shines so bright when we hike through Monte Elmo, gathering wild Alpine flowers, played in the playground above 2,000+ meters where we have breathtaking views of the Sesto Dolomites.
On the third day, the winding roads from the Pension House and steep curves going up to the mountains became like normal. With the Dolomites in the background, It was a constant reminder that we are still in paradise.One time we decided to go up in the mountains first by ski lift and do some hiking up. Going up was so foggy and cold, with bare no views while we came up.Here I have a feeling that we are in Austria or in Germany since the landscape, the playgrounds reminds me so much of the places we visited in Austria.Signages are written in multiple languages and we didn´t have any problem since we speak German.Once again, my daughter had a blast playing, trekking, and admiring the views up above.
The only sound that we hear is our footsteps, flushing and gushing of the creek that leads to the river.the bright sunlight creates a magical scenery,simply awesome.
The thing is, the moment when we are on top, we felt so little, so tiny, weak and fragile. Many times I shouted to my daughter not to run on the edge because she might slipped.It´s the anxiety that I felt so helpless compared to the power of the mountains.But seeing her so carefree and happy makes my heart warm. If only we can stay like this forever.As I see the bunch of people ahead of us, all walking with a walking stick,pushing the buggies and carrying their little ones, I asked myself that maybe they are also searching what we are searching…simple happiness.
The thing about hiking and conquering heights is that the height is so intimidating. And hiking with a child is not always go through as you expect.Most of the times, you really need to have plan B. Believe me, get prepared and expect a few dramas along the way. The going is always tough, but going through it ,is actually the essence of the adventure itself. Looking back, the most rough hikes we did are the ones that we had wonderful memories and hurdles as well.We all got a new hiking boots this year and I thought, these shoes are really made to be wet, dirty, muddy, filled with sand and somehow step onto some crazy adventures! No matter how good it is, if it only stay in the bunk then it´s useless.
Many times, we got lost of the track, google maps doesn´t work, even one time that I forgot to bring my camera so I was totally devastated. I got sad and angry ,not because I am tired and my muscles are sore from walking, but because I only had my iphone to capture the views.
I can´t write about Michelin stars hotels and restaurants, expensive ski resorts and over the top mountain museums in the areas of Süd Tirol and Dolomites. I can only share about it´s beauty, it´s wild charm, it´s power to quiet our troubled minds, and bring us down to humble state .We didn´t spend a fortune, nor stayed in pricey hotels, or dine in those fancy restaurants, but we were able to have a blast in nature, eat in joyful gladness with the mountains in front of us and for me, that´s the killer panoramic view that is priceless.
Also, we did our part in protecting this place, we only take memories and leave nothing behind except footprints. Because I know, soon we will be back once again to see the Dolomites.
When was your most unforgettable hiking experience?
Have you hike with a child?
Until then, Servus and Tschüss!