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Where Was I?

18 Jul

Where Was I?

Resuming the tale of my great European adventure…The first day of hiking in the Dolomites. That was a tough one for a girl who lives her life about 400 feet above sea level. Suddenly I had to hike steep paths at an altitude of more than 2000 meters above sea level (6500+ feet). We took the Seiser Alm (Italian: Alpe di Siusi) cable car up to the largest and highest pasture land in Europe. The paths here were anything but flat. In fact the first segment we walked was a bobsled track that was like climbing the steepest set of stairs ever. It was a rude shock to this 65 year old body, but the scenery kept me pushing ahead. We hiked six hours on the Seiser Alm with incredible mountains to the right and to the left. Always we walked in high green mountain meadows just beginning to bloom with wildflowers for the season. The weather had been unnaturally cold and summer was slow in arriving. The sun was now hot and the air invigorating and cool. The “we” were two guides, Marion and Donatella, me, and a Russian named Vladimir from Moscow.

The signposts were everywhere marking the paths. This one told us about Arnika Hũtte, where we ate lunch that day.

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Here is a photo of Schlern or Sciliar to our right as we ascended on the cable car.

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Seiser Alm is pasture land and the cows are grazing everywhere. You know when you are approaching a herd of cows because you hear the cowbells first in the distance.

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Invigorating walk, here I am with two mountain landmarks in the background, snow covered Sasso Piatto on the right and Sasso Lungo on the left, the top hidden by clouds.

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Some popcorn shaped yellow flowers with other dainty purplish blooms. There were so many colors and varieties.

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A typical Seiser Alm view.

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Horses on the hillside.

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My hiking compatriots: Marion (an Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding), Vladimir from Moscow, and Donatella (a translator proficient in Ladin, Italian, German, and English).

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Another view of Schlern.

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More yellow flowers like little buttercups.

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The Sella Group.

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The weather changes fast in the mountains. Clouds accumulate to surround Sasso Lungo and Sasso Piatto.

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Hikers enjoy rearranging and stacking the rocks.

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We could look down on the towns in the valleys far below.

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Arnika Hũtte where we ate our first meal. I was introduced to Holunder Saft, elderberry juice with water. It was very refreshing.

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In this very Catholic area, crosses mark the way.

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Walking back toward the cable car in the afternoon.

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Farmers are used to working on steeply sloping hillsides.

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Part of Schlern.

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In the afternoon the clouds drift away giving us an unimpeded view of Sasso Lungo and Sasso Piatto.

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Finally down in the valley we drove through towns with unique onion shaped church towers, typical  of this area. This is the town of Castelrotto, Italy.

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18 Responses to “Where Was I?”

  1. Heyjude July 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    What fabulous views and lovely wild meadow plants – the yellow popcorn one is Bird’s foot trefoil, we find it in the UK too. Glad you had such sunny weather to start your hike 🙂

    • Rosemarie July 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

      We had good weather all during the hike.

  2. ladyofthecakes July 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    Great pics. BTW, what happened to that cold you were incubating at one point? Did you manage to stave it off, after all?

    • Rosemarie July 18, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      I stayed in bed one day and then I just pushed through with OTC meds and volumes of Kleenex. I suffered with it in one form or another through the remainder of the trip.

      • ladyofthecakes July 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

        Aw, I’m very sorry to hear that, what a bummer… 😦
        When’s your next trip???

      • Rosemarie July 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

        I didn’t let it stop me.

  3. lagottocattleya July 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    Wonderful views – it cannot get much more beautiful over there. No fog at all?

    • Rosemarie July 18, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      The weather was good for hiking almost all of the time. The day we hiked up to Santa Croce it began to rain just as we got off of the chair lift, so there was no problem. Clouds would come and go. Sometimes it looked like rain, but it never did. The clouds would often contribute to better photos because of the shadows and filtered light.

  4. Linda Arthur Tejera July 18, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    Breathtaking scenery.

    • Rosemarie July 18, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      Yes, it is. Not many Americans travel to this area. There are many Germans and Russians.

      • hitandrun1964 July 18, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

        So glad you had a nice time. I see that you wore your hat! The pictures are wonderful. Such amazingly beautiful country. High altitude and steep climb. You would have found me laying in the flowers gasping for air:)

      • Rosemarie July 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

        That’s what I felt like doing.

  5. dadirri7 July 19, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    beautiful scenery and lovely photos rosemarie … you had very fit hiking companions, and you look fit too! the air must have been so sweet with the flowers coming into bloom 🙂

  6. Photography Journal Blog July 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    I am wondering how all your REI gear worked out? Was there an item that you wish you had thought to bring along?

    • Rosemarie July 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      Actually there are things I wish I had left behind. I didn’t need a flashlight, or a first aid kit. The hat was superfluous. I only used the poles one day, but I wish I had made more use of them. The daypack was great. I didn’t use the poncho but it would have been useful if we had experienced heavy rain. I never used sunscreen or insect repellent. With the weather we had, they just weren’t necessary and took up room in my suitcase. My hiking boots were indispensable and I loved my hiking pants.

      • Photography Journal Blog July 24, 2013 at 1:04 am #

        Interesting. I’m thinking it is probably better to have too much than be missing something important. I’m glad to hear the boots worked, that would have been miserable if they didn’t.

      • Rosemarie July 24, 2013 at 1:10 am #

        Actually the boots were so good that there was something else I did not need: moleskin.

      • Photography Journal Blog July 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

        Well, that a huge bonus 🙂

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