19 Sep 2008

Mom and I visit the Dolomites (briefly!)

On the way home from Florence, the weather was too good to miss a driving trip to the Dolomites. Just north of Bolzano we turned east and rapidly climbed up into the mountains. We were hungry for quite a while, but also in a hurry to make it to the Pordoi Pass in order to take a lift up to the Pordoi Spitze. This peak has an amazing 360 degree view of surrounding mountains. Finally we found a little fast food stand (there are surprisingly few of these, in fact the area seemed kind of deserted), and got a hamburger and a Panini sandwich.

After a drive through a pretty valley we started the first of 35 180 degree switchbacks that would get us up to the pass. Mom did really well…I’ve made people sick with my driving on these things! But I’m a very mild driver compared to the Italians, and especially to the motorcycles, trust me!

We got to the pass and it was freezing cold. We grabbed what jackets we could find and bought our tickets. The lift took us up several thousand feet in just 5 minutes. I was really happy to be able to show Mom the area. The Dolomites are really my favorite place in the Alps. The relief between summit and valley is very great, and very steep too. There is only one glacier in the whole range, but the many sheer cliffs make up for that. And the meadows are so peaceful and friendly, making a great contrast with the spiky peaks.

Later we sat in a meadow below the Sella Pass. We had the massive Langkofel peaks on our left, and Piz Boe with it’s dozen or so subsidiary peaks on the right. Here are some pictures:

The rest of the pictures are here.