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Changing Valleys

21 Jul

Changing Valleys

Hard as it was to leave the comfortable environs in Ortisei, Val Gardena, we had to move eastward to our next location in Val Badia. Early in the morning we headed out driven by our guide Marion. The car climbed upward on hairpin turns to the Passo Gardena, which was the divider between between the two valleys. When we came down the other side we were in a new area and we headed for the tiny town of Colfosco, our home for the next two nights. Marion’s family owns an inn and a sports equipment shop. We stayed there at the Hotel Garni Bel Air. Here I am at Passo Gardena wrapped up in layers on my first day out after being very ill with a fever and URI. Early in the morning the skies were threatening and didn’t promise good weather for today’s hike. Notice the mountain biker. They are everywhere. I have great respect for the vitality and endurance of these bikers. The only thing harder than climbing these mountain paths is biking up them. Also notice the small church. It doesn’t matter how high or how remote the location, you can always find a church or a chapel in the vicinity. The next few photos are not the best quality because I shot them from the car while Marion was driving.

There are always tunnels.

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Driving on these high mountain roads can be unnerving when you have to share them with large trucks (lorries, as they say).

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The weather did not look at all good as we approached Passo Gardena.

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It was definitely raining over there.

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We were near the top of the pass and here you can get a good look at the dolomite rock, which can have a pinkish cast in certain light conditions. This rock was once seabed and contains the remains of coral reefs.

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A lone biker under overcast skies.

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Back in the car we headed down into Val Badia. Here is a good view of the hairpin turns that Marion had to navigate.

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And we arrived. Alta Badia is a section of the Val Badia. Notice the Welcome sign in three languages: here in Ladin, then Italian, and German.

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Every town has three names in the three main languages. Here is our destination in German, Ladin, and Italian. We always called it Colfosco.

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Our new abode.

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And the Posch Sport store. Remember Marion was a Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding.

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I noticed the greenway over the road and assumed it was for animals crossing, just like the ones over the Autobahn in Germany. Not so. This is a ski run.

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Then we met Lucky, their dog. The Posch family always had black dogs and they always named them Blackie. When they got their newest pup, he wasn’t black, so they couldn’t use that name. Lucky sounded close enough to Blackie and it fit.

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Here is Marion Posch with her shy nephew. Marion never ceased to amaze with her stamina, her linguistic abilities and her vast knowledge of the area.

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