Sunday, September 16, 2012

From Mediterranean beaches to snow capped mountains in 10 days...

We've been gone now for about 13 days, and a lot's happened!

Just to recap a bit:  we started in Sitges, Spain, where we beached out for a day in the sun while getting over our jetlag.  That first day was surprisingly great - lots of jambon and cava at places like this:

Hoofing it around Spain

We spent the next few days in Barcelona.  We saw a lot of Gaudi architecture (La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and La Pedrera by night with some jazz) and a lot of art (Museu Picasso and the Dali museum in Figueres).  The food was also fantastic.  (We took a reco from Anthony Bourdain and went to Quimet & Quimet for mercaditos and vermouth -- who would have thought that vermouth, soda, and a slice of lemon would make an awesome summer drink?)

Next, we left the big city and started making our way to northern Italy for our Dolomites hike.  This journey ended up being a bit more circuitous than we had initially planned.  We had originally thought we'd take an overnight train to Venice from Dijon, but we ended up -- for reasons that are too painful to type (not really) -- traveling along the French and Italian rivieras and stopping in Genova, Italy for a couple of nights before heading to Cortina, Italy a day early.  This ended up being a great diversion for two reasons:  (1) the best gelato by far has been in Genova near Piazza Del Erbe -- seriously, it was ridiculous!  (2)  Cortina was amazing, and spending an extra day there allowed us to take a cable car up to Rifugio Faloria where we did some extra hiking and had the best pasta of the trip so far.

From Cortina, we started our 4-day hike through the Dolomites.  We finished up yesterday, and spent the night in Venice.

As for the hike, it was amazing!  I've already started conversing in the parlance of "When we go back next summer..."  In short, we hiked every day with our packs to a new Rifugio (a rifugio is a mountain hut that has guest rooms and great restaurants attached).  The first day we went from Ra Stua to Fodara -- it drizzled a bit during the hike, but the temperature was perfect.  When we got to Fodara, however, it started pouring.  This put the kibosh on our day hike, but it was a good excuse to finish my book (I can highly recommend The Tiger's Wife).  Over that first night, the rain turned to snow and we woke up to this:

Fortunately, we made it down to the valley and back up to Rifugio Fanes without incident (although, we were happy that we brought our hat and gloves!)  The next few days were more like this:

Our third day from Fanes to Lagazuoi was pretty intense - we left at 8:30am and didn't arrive until about 4pm (we really only stopped once to eat some sandwiches that we had packed with us).  The last 4 hours of the hike was completely uphill and akin to being on a stairmaster that you couldn't get off of.  But fortunately, the views were pretty amazing from the top!

Yesterday we went from Lagazuoi to Cinque Torre, and then met up with our charming driver Toio to go back to Venice.
So, that's basically the recap.  I'm sure that Zack will want to add some details, so I'll leave that to him.  (I would imagine there will be a large paragraph devoted to all the cute foreign dogs that we've seen, e.g., Nico the Spanish lab and Toni the Italian German Shephard, and maybe another large paragraph devoted to the mountain cows, sheep, goats, and little varmint that we may need my Dad to identify from the photos...).


No comments:

Post a Comment