Italy
Province of Belluno

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    • Day 2

      Aviano & Barcis, Italy

      December 29, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      We got to see friends!!! Some fun military friends that we made in Vegas live near Aviano and they invited us to their amazing home. They showered us with Christmas gifts (including peppermint bark - I cannot find peppermint in Germany anywhere) and showed us around their lovely, old Italian city. They have racked up way more countries than us and will do mostly anything. They are truly adventurous. Recently, they swam in the ice cold Irish Sea with some locals for Christmas. I am not sure I will ever be that brave. Cold things and I do not mesh well.

      The "warm" fifty degree weather in Italy drew us outside everyday. After two weeks in the twenties back in Germany, fifties felt as though we were nearing the end of winter. I almost took off my jacket. Whoa!

      We walked around in the woods near their home, while their pup ran around in the meadows. As we stopped to take in the gorgeous mountains in the near distance, a large buck ran across the field. What a cool and rare sight to see! The girls really wished I caught that on camera. As we wound further up the path, we encountered some rocky hills. The girls, of course, did not resist the urge to climb around. Then they quickly stumbled upon two tiny wooden, nativity scenes. What a sweet little reminder of the reason for Christmas! Such a fun thing for someone to take the time to do. The day ended with delicious local food, toasty beverages and a warm fire!

      The next day we traveled to the Lakes of Barcis for a hike and car picnic. Seth grabbed some meat and cheeses from the local street market on the way, while Natalie ( the girls pronounce her name as Nate -alie) continued to spoil the girls with Italian sweets! We fueled up with good food and pottied in the woods before we headed for the hike. We did not find out until later that we ate HORSE meat! Addy was like "nope never again, that is my favorite animals." It tasted ok, but not my favorite meat, but the cheese was on point! Seth purposely waited to inform us, so that we would give it a fair evaluation.

      We hiked around Barcis Lakes and explored the woods. As we reached a high point we saw an overlook. The big girls ran for it! Mabel is still building up her stamina, so she was quite winded by this steep hike. Thankfully, no one slippes on all the moss (I love moss - the color and the feel) covered boulders while running. Natalie does not love heights. However, she could not resist Mabel's persistant requests to walk to the end of the small overlook with a view of the steep, cliffy drop into the beautiful teal lakes. Mabel pulled her out there and they both survived! I mostly feel the same as Natalie about heights, but I try to just do the things in hopes that my girls will not grab hold of my fears in life. I walked out slowly, while holding the rails tightly and taking in the view THEN Seth jumps to make the overlook shake. Oh that guy!

      The girls, Seth and Nathan took turns seeing who could throw rocks the farthest for a while. Nate made things so much fun for our girls! The girls for some reason decided his nickname is Rock Star Dude, but I am not sure why. Another awesome day exploring the gorgeous landscape of Italy.

      Next up a twisty, turny ride that almost made us all puke...
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    • Day 73

      Berggeflüster

      September 11, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Ich verlasse das italienische Flachland leicht kränklich, mit schmerzender Kniekehle aber auch mit verdammt guter Laune..Nach gefühlt 4000km bin ich heute das erste mal wieder auf einem Fahrradweg unterwegs..und zwar ein Richtiger, bei dem man weit und breit keine Autos sieht..Ein wahrer Luxus, den der ganze Balkan nicht bieten konnte..ich sehe die Alpen schon den ganzen Morgen, wie sie sich gewaltig am Horizont auftürmen und nach 50km bin ich endlich drin..Bei all dem Dauergrinsen, als ich unter der Autobahn in Felsschluchten von Bergssee zu Bergsee gleite, vergesse ich glatt, das es ab jetzt mehr oder weniger 200km bergauf gehen wird..Aber wer hoch fliegt kann auch lange bergab radeln..Irgendwie so ging doch das Sprichwort..😅..
      Ich bin jedenfalls verliebt und freue mich auf die nächsten Tage..Kevin, die Alpen und ich..Der wohl beste Dreier meines Lebens..😁..
      Mein Zelt schlage ich heute an einem Campingplatz am See auf..Ich gestehe - ich habe den Schlaf in Bodennähe schon etwas vermisst..Der perfekte Tagesabschluss..
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    • Day 21

      Heading to Belluno

      July 2, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

      Dropped Kamala off at her hotel and repacked my bag.

      Hung out at the bus station for a bit—I like to get there early—and then took the bus to Calazola and then a train to Belluno.

      When I got on the train, the female conductor approached me and told me she wanted to check my bag. Said something about a 50L Osprey. I showed her mine was a 46 and she asked about the interior so I opened it to show her. Turns out she wanted to “check out” my bag because she heard it was a good bag and wanted to see it😂 she was super kind to me. When we came to the transfer station for Venice, she came down to ask me if I was supposed to get off there. 💕

      Travel days are fun!
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    • Day 18

      Trentino-Trient-Chies d'alpago

      May 17 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      Nochere störmische Nacht ha ni es riese Glöck gha ond has geschafft emmer im Räge hende noche z'fahre. 👍 😇🤣
      A wonderschöne Ortschafte im Trentino verbi düset, ha ni mine erschti Boxestopp in Trient gmacht. Es meega schöns Städtli. 🤩
      Ha mi ganz spontan lo triebe i nes Vegirestaurant "Lab".
      Super fröndlechi Bedienig ond s'Ässe esch so öpis vo fein gseh😋. En andere Stammgascht D'Claudia hed mech gfrogt was mis nöchschte Ziel sigi of minere Reis ond so send mer zäme i meega berüehrendi Gspröch cho. Plötzlech esch en Stond ome gseh. 🤩
      Aschliessend be ni bes as gfühlti Ändi vo de Wält, noch Chies d' alpago gfahre zo minere neue Onderkonft i de Region vo de Dolomiten.
      Hey, das hed sech eifach nome glohnt do ufe of d'Alp z'fahre🤩.
      Super liebi Gastgäber, e traumhafti Ussecht i d'Bärge & of e See, e Traum vom ene Hüsli nor för mech elei😍🤩. Sogar Esle läbid do & Reh hend mer ou scho Ciao gseid🤩.
      Eifach Natur pur.
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    • Day 3

      Poffabro, More Hiking & Pizza, Italy

      December 30, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

      Natalie and I loaded up in her car with Addy and Bowser. Addy and Bowser are quite a cute pair. Nate and Seth drove the rental with the other little ladies. We began our trek toward Porffabro and the uphill drive. The road grew more narrow and began to twist and turn A LOT. The last time we drove this intense of a switchback was in Montenegro in the summer. However, this one came with more warning signs and construction. Natalie and I were questioning our husband's judgment as we followed. At many points during the naseating ride, the road was only wide enough for one car with the added fun of drop offs. Surprisingly, we didn't encounter any traffic coming from the other direction and we made it there without throwing up.

      The zigging and zagging up a questionable switchback road to the town of Poffabro made us all woozy. I do not typically get car sick. That was some kind of RIDE! This did not detour us from following our noses to yummy food. We ate delicious paninis, beer and crepes.

      This "Nativity Hunt" makes for one of my favorite Christmas memories we have made thus far! This sweet town, known mostly for its history of making house shoes, puts out unique nativities during Christmas. I think many towns in Italy do this through the holiday season as well.

      The girls loved the scavenger hunt feel as they ran up and down the narrow streets discovering a different nativity at every turn. You had to keep your eyes peeled, looking at all heights so you wouldn't miss one. They used all types of materials to create these nativities, from colored pencils, hand carved figurines, paintings mimicing Van Gogh's Starry Night and a silly one with baby Jesus in a motorcycle side car. It was so fun to see all the varieties.

      Along the hunt, we stumbled upon a man carving little creatures outside his home. He was so kind and had the girls sit on his wooden reindeer and hand made sled. He made an impression on Mabel and she kept saying, "He is super kind, momma." Natalie decided to buy our girls three carved creature. Demi chose a bunny, Addy chose a hedgehog and Mabel chose the squirrel. So fun! Natalie has been too kind along this trip.

      We explored all through the town and ended up finding a hiking path. We followed and found statues depicting the story of Jesus' crucifixion. This hike was a steep climb! The twelve statues took us through the story from Judas' betrayal to the empty tomb. I found this hike to be beautiful, especially during Christmas, because it pointed us to the cross and resurrection of Jesus creating a full picture of the gospel story.

      Demi found this set of statues to be incomplete though. She was quite bothered that it ended with an empty tomb. She suggested they create two more statues showing Christ going up into heaven and Jesus reappearing to his disciples. And Mabel was mostly excited about a plastic slide at the end. Ha ha! Addy was relieved the steep climb was over and we could now go back downhill.

      On the next and last day, we hiked and picnicked again near Aviano. The girls loved being outside so much! They raved (and even journaled) about all the hiking and playing outside. What a beautiful place and with great friends that go back nearly 20 years!

      Oh ya... One last thing! We popped into the city of Sacilly for the Christmas market and delicious pizza! This pizza place made these bread stick things that tasted like a savory Texas style donut stick topped with arugula. Their special kind of pizza was extra soft with a bit of sweetness to it. The pizza came out in one large piece. They don't cut the pizza at all and it's usually a serving for one person. It's is fun to experience all types of pizzas! We haven't encountered a bad one yet. This one was quite different from any other pizza we have had. Addy went from silly to almost sleeping really fast that night. She is notorious for falling asleep at dinner ever since she was little. She managed to stay awake for this pizza though. :)

      What a fun trip! Friends, hiking and food! So thankful to have had the opportunity to reconnect with such great friends!! Natalie and Nate are just awesome, generous people. The girls have so much fun with them!
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    • Day 4

      Rifigio Treviso

      August 6, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      Vanochtend iets of wat geïrriteerd wakker geworden. Ik hoop dat ik heel erg gesnurkt heb. Just out of spite!
      Maar goed. Het ontbijt was voorzien van vers brood! Dat is lekker!
      Daarna 960 meter afgedaald naar halverwege het dal en daarna weer 350 meter gestegen. Heb vreselijk spierpijn in de bovenbenen. Voelt heel zuur aan.
      Na inchecken en mijn bed opgemaakt nam ik een douch. Heb meer dan een kwartier in de rij gestaan. Maar goed, ik sop mij lekker in en toen stopte de watertoevoer. Ik had een muntje moeten kopen! Met het laatste restje water nog een beetje afgespoeld en daarna maar afgedroogd voor zover mogelijk. Handdoek en ik ruiken in ieder geval fris. De tocht zelf was best goed te doen, maar omdat je niet weet wat er achter de volgende bocht is, blijf je reserves voor jezelf aan het inbouwen. Dit met als gevolg dat ik rondom 14.00 uur bij de refuge was. Kon wel gelijk inchecken.
      Nu zit ik op een stoepje en moet er zelfs voor waken om niet te verbranden. Zo fel schijnt de zon.
      Kennelijk is dit een plek voor de echte bergbeklimmers. Volledig uitgerust. Ik heb ze zien klauteren, maar om ze te fotograferen is heel lastig . Heb ik toch nog een stelletje kunnen klikken. Zij gaan een tocht maken dat al is uitgezet. Een andere foto geeft weer welke route ze maken. Brrr. Ik moet er niet aan denken dat Kris en Michiel dit ook doen.
      Morgen wordt weer een spannende dag. Dan moet ik over een kam heen en 1000 meter stijgen. Niet dat dit de uitdaging is, maar ik moet op tijd bij een kabelbaan zijn, anders moet ik daarna nog 1500 meter dalen! Zaak om vroeg te starten. Je leest morgen hoe dat afloopt.
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    • Day 17

      Ab jetzt in den Bergen!

      June 30, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      Belluno - Longarone - Rifugio Pian de Fontana

      Kilometer: 40,03
      Aufstieg: 1.865hm
      Abstieg: 648hm

      So, jetzt bin ich tatsächlich in den Bergen unterwegs und es fühlt sich gut an.

      Die letzten Tage im Tal aber waren noch etwas aufregend, da die Hüttenthematik ja noch gelöst werden musste. Auch wenn ich jetzt das ein oder andere Mal einen Umweg laufen werde, oder an der eigentlichen Hütte vorbei und dann noch 500Hm in die theoretisch "falsche" Richtung auf- bzw. abzusteigen sind, so habe ich nun für die nächsten drei Wochen einen bis in das letzte Detail ausgereiften Hüttenplan mit den entsprechenden Reservierungen. Jetzt gilt es eigentlich nur noch die Kilometer zu schaffen. Für die nächsten drei Tage ist schon einmal Regen vorausgesagt.

      Aber das war er eigentlich auch schon für heute und nichts passierte. So machte ich mich an den Aufstieg in die Dolomiti Bellunesi (Unesco Weltkulturerbe) und bis zum Refugio Pian de Fontana auf übersichtliche 1.600m Höhe. Und tatsächlich treff ich hier dann auch auf andere Hiker. Ich dachte schon ich mache etwas verkehrt. Morgen früh geht es weiter auf 2.500hm und bin dann bereits mitten im Murmeltierland...
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    • Day 2

      Rifugio Rosetta

      August 4, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

      Vandaag om 7.00 uur opgestaan, bij ontbijt worteltjestaart gegeten en nog een keer goed gekeken wat ik nog achter kon laten. Want hoe minder ik meeneem, des te gemakkelijker gaat de reis. Kom ik toch een self service box tegen en heb natuurlijk goed ingeslagen. Vooral de wiet kan ik goed gebruiken 😀

      Het eerste stuk was echt niet leuk. Een breed pad en stijl. Ik had een boswandeling verwacht. Aangekomen bij de skilift 🚡 eerst maar even een kopje koffie gedronken. Zie filmpje.

      Het volgende stuk was geweldig. Mooie uitzichten, lekker plekje gevonden om te lunchen, goed begaanbaar pad en het zonnetje scheen geregeld. Heerlijk!

      Het stuk na de lunch was een echte uitdaging. Vooral omdat het weer om ging slaan. Op een gegeven moment kwam er wel een hele zwarte wolk aanzetten. Ik kon niet meer terug, dus de pas erin gezet. Uiteindelijk is alles goed gekomen, de bui dreef over en arriveerde ik veel te vroeg bij de Rufuge. Moest 1,5 uur wachten voordat ik kon inchecken. Balen, want ik had graag een douche genomen. Ik was overigens niet de enige die een douche kon gebruiken! Toen ik de Refuge in kwam, werd ik begroet door allerlei geuren variërend van soep, worst, koffie, schraal bier, stinkende sokken en schoenen en diverse lichaamsgeuren.

      Na het inchecken gelijk onder de douche gestapt. Koste een flinke duit, maar dan heb je ook wat. Fris en fruitig tik ik nu dit verslag. Vannacht deel ik een 6 persoonskamer met 3 andere wandelaars. Ik hoop dat ze zich niet ergeren aan mijn gesnurk, want dat doe ik enorm volgens Dick.
      Zit nu onder een afdakje en helikopters komen af en aan op enkele meters afstand om de refuge te voorzien van eten en materiaal. Een hels kabaal.
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    • Day 4

      Day3: Bozen 》 Agordo

      July 2, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Eine würdige Königsetappe: zwar extrem anstrengend, aber auch wunderschön 🤩 Zuerst 10km flach, dann jedoch in einen langen Autotunnel....obwohl ich kein Verbot und auch keine Alternativroute fand war ich fast sicher, hier falsch zu sein 🙈 ..... die einheimischen Gümmeler haben mir aber weiter oben dann bestätigt, dass dies tatsächlich der einzige Weg auf den Karrerpass sei. Jä nu, take a risk!! Nach einigen Horrorkilometer zweigte der Veloweg von der Strasse ab und führte wunderschön das Tal hinauf. Bald schon erblickte man die markanten Dolomiten 🏔 Kurz vor der Passhöhe fährt man dann am schönen Karersee vorbei, baden ist leider nicht erlaubt......aber dann ist der erste Pass geschafft 🤗

      Die tolle Abfahrt bis nach Moena war einfach nur fantastisch, in diesem schönen, Europapark-ähnlichen Dorf fand ich den (hoffentlich) steilsten Abschnitt meiner Reise vor, aufsteigen wäre nicht mehr möglich gewesen, deshalb dürezieh 🚀

      Es zog sich dann doch noch bis auf den zweiten Peak von heute, den Passo San Pellegrino, zumal dieser zwar kürzer, aber steiler als der erste war. Oben angekommen entschädigte wiederum ein fantastisches Bild mit den Dolomitenzähnen für die Strapazen.

      Die Abfahrt war dann einigermassen anstrengend da steil, schlechter Belag und erneut Autotunnel......aber im Hotelpool regenerierte ich danach meine Scheichli für die 100km von morgen 🤘
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    • Day 104

      Villa Gaia to Monte Rite

      June 17 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Woke up to a view of the hillside bathed in sunshine and birdsong. When I got ready to go, Schopper's gears were no longer working. Hmm... this is not good. I twiddled around till I managed to repair it. And we were on our way.

      Feeling proud I treated myself to an apfelstrudel at Villa Gaia looking on to Monte Rite. There I met Toni, the beer sommelier, who gave me tips on various mountain routes.

      I asked him: "Why do you speak fluent German?"
      "I grew up in Bremen", he said.
      This small world delighted us.

      I set off on my first mission: to climb up Monte Rite. Looking at it from the cafe, it seemed impossibly tall and distant. The path was a well paved road, going through one or two villages and then through the forest above. On reaching the peak at 2183 m altitude, the view on to the Marmarole group is fantastic. There is the Messner mountain museum on top, from which there is a 360⁰ panorama. Spectacular view!

      I was lucky to get a beer from the rifugio at the top. Not sure what additives they add to it here, but cold beer always tastes so good up at this height. I rode the 1600 m down in a blaze. The winding road twisting through forests and opening up to mountains felt too exhilarating to consider the danger at 50 km/h.

      Back at Villa Gaia to pick up my bags, I thought to have a quick nibble to eat. The hostess Michaela had other plans. Her suggestions took me on a culinary journey, with delicious serving after another. I lingered on delighting in the food, the wine, the dessert and the flavored grappas she made herself. Mango & Thyme, or Pepperoncono & Salvia. Delicious!

      She offered that I could put up my tent in their garden. What a great end to a great day! The 4 km I have moved since last night has been a grand epicurean journey.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Provincia di Belluno, Province of Belluno, Belluno

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