Italy travel diary/travelogue

Off to see the Dolomites

Day 13, 31 Aug 2001

Another rainy day - just right for our trip to the Dolomites, eh? Perhaps the weather might improve as it had yesterday ...

The coach journey through to the Dolomites was a very scenic one, passing through many pretty valleys including Val di Fiemme and Val di Fasse. As we got further away from Garda, there was a noticeable change in the types of housing. Increasingly it felt like we were in Austria or Switzerland as we passed ever-more-decorated chalets in the hillsides.

The mountains are there somewhere

The one thing that wasn't changing was the weather, though. No let up there. By the time we actually got to our destination, the weather was very bad: icily cold, misty, wet. In short, the peaks of the Dolomites were visible only when looking at the postcards of them in the gift shop. Looking out the window it was only guesswork as to where they actually were. Very disappointing!

On the way back we made a brief stop at a village called Ortisei. It was full of pretty chalet houses and shops. No 'Magnolia' masonry paint on these babies - every property was uniquely and tastefully decorated. Being here was also another 'Are we in Germany?' moment. Or rather: 'Are we in Austria?'. All the signs in the shops were in German (or Austrian ... if there is a big difference). Italian? Forget it. This place was Italian only on paper.

Later back in Riva, we had our usual evening meal with Jim & Susan (aka the Malarkies), then sat outside the bar (under shelter) watching the rain come down. Despite the amount of rain falling, people were still speeding along the road. Given the shape of the Lake, and the difficulty in cutting through solid rock to make tunnels, this was the main ring road around the lake. It was always busy. We were talking about this, commenting that with the number of pedestrian crossings, it would be amazing if someone didn't get hit by one of these speeding cars. 5 minutes later, we watched a car smash into the back of another car that had stopped at one of the pedestrian crossings. No-one was hurt, but the car behind was not going to make it to Limone (or anywhere else) tonight.