Monday 5th July 2010
I’m writing this blog from the verandah of our B & B in Ortisei, looking up the mountain to where we caught the chair lift earlier today. It is a balmy evening and the local church bells are tolling the half hour…a comforting sound. Laura, our B & B host, didn’t understand the terms ‘Internet’ or ‘Wi-Fi’ but I’ve found a local connection and hooked up anyway. Everything is close here…especially the other cars on the road!
We left an overcast and drizzly Salzburg this morning at around 10am and were thankful that we had got the best of the weather during our 4 day stay. The drive to Ortisei, a ski resort in the Dolomites, was to take us about 3 hrs. The drive was spectacular. Most of the journey took us along the valley floor of a steeply carved limestone mountain pass. There were numerous ancient monasteries and castles, located on prominent mountain outcrops along the way, as if the natural vista was not enough to take in. The whole journey was simply breath-taking. That, and Mark’s driving was too. He is still getting used to the right hand drive and constantly errs to the further right…trying to ‘will himself’ to that side of the car. Unfortunately, all this does is place me, in the passenger seat, in the path of vehicles we are over-taking…scary stuff!
Ortisei is a quaint ski resort nestled high in the Dolomite Mountains of the Italian Alps. The roads into the Village are very narrow and this was the absolute last ‘driving’ thing I needed after the journey down here. We finally navigated our small car into the even smaller driveway of our B & B at around 2pm. The chair lift to the top of the ski resort was only a 2 min walk from our B & B so we set off. Once we reached the top platform we alighted and set off on a walk that took us about an hour for the round trip; and that included a wheat beer stein for Mark.
Back down via the chair lift we strolled along the narrow streets of the prosperous Village in search of a restaurant that served schweinshaxe (roasted pork knuckle) for Mark. His only disappointment was that Gordon was not here with him to enjoy the beer and meal! It was the immensely late hour of 7pm by this end of our dinner but we headed home anyway. All exhausted…Mark from driving, me from being a passenger and Tom from his DS battles!
Mark is just searching the TV to see if any soccer, sorry, football is on and I am going to load some photos!
Off to Parma tomorrow!