Thursday, September 17, 2015

Arrivedercie Dolomiti

Our destination today is Venice where we will return our car. Patchy clouds turn to gusty winds as we make our way around the Alpse mountain plateau to Selva in the Val Gardena. One after another, we see small ski towns carved into sections of mountains and we think of Tahoe, - that this would never be acceptable. Though people tell us that Colorado, particularly Breckenridge, is similar.
     Selva is in a deep valley, the Val Gardena and the mountains are lower than in Siusi; chairlifts are everywhere.  Selva is tightly packed with hotels and ski businesses with a dense city center and lots of gift shops. I can picture what this place must be like during ski season. We continue through the passes Sella, Fassi and Pordoi as the weather becomes more gusty and grey and the rain begins to fall. Bicyclists work their way up the steep mountain roads; they certainly have more stamina and guts than us! Our journey takes us south through the Dolomites west of Belluno and we realize that this section of the park is residential and not as accessible for hiking. Sadly we leave the tranquility and beauty of the Dolomites and our wonderful adventures behind
     We reach Venice in about 5 hours, return our car and take the number 5 bus into Venice for a night at Hotel Belle Epoque. It is warm and very humid, and the crowds of tourists still walking the streets make us yearn for the mountains. But we wait and go for an evening walk to find the small trattoria near San Marco Square. The dark alleys are deserted and are a mysterious maze, some end abruptly, others lead to uncrossable waterways; many are unmarked and ooccasionally one opens to a public walkway.  Hours later, we sit down to a delicious pasta dinner with complimentary champagne, bruschetta and limoncelo at Tre Spiedi. The waiter is from ─ćorsica and delights us with his hospitality.





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