Editor’s Note: Recently returned from a six-day trip to the Dolomites designed (and guided) by Private Trip Designer Georgia Yuill, traveller Margie Chen was kind enough to share this travel diary entry from Day Two of her trip.
Dolomites Day 2 | By Margie Chen
Before I recap today’s events I need to digress to last night, because cocktails and dinner at the hotel Alpina Dolomites was quite special.
The hotel is only four years old and not in the typical Tyrolian style of timbered ceilings and hearts carved into the backs of the chairs. It is very modern and open to the beautiful setting with ample decks and floor to ceiling windows. We enjoyed cocktails and tons of delicious little hors d’ouevres watching the sunset colouring the Dolomites its famous pink cast. Then the full moon rose while we were treated to an elegant four-course dinner. My fave course was truffle risotto with nectarines.
Tuesday morning, we took a gondola up the mountain to start our day of hiking. We climbed to the top of a ridge so we could see views of two valleys. Again, we were blessed by a spectacularly clear day, so we could see forever.
Our reward for making it to the top of the mountain was a stop at an adorable rifugio for a treat. These rifugios are inns/restaurants that dot the countryside for hikers to stop and rest and eat.
So instead of the usual water and candy bar van stop on our bike trips, we get to stop at these little chalets. This particular one had an oven outside baking fresh bread (later served with fresh homemade butter), plum coffeecake, apple strudel, ricotta cake and some crispy fruit filled turnover. All freshly baked, served with cappuccinos, hot chocolate, beer or grappa.
We toured their cheese making shed before tasting their homemade grappa and finally tore ourselves away to hit the road. We were able to quickly see the “Big Five”: cows, horses, sheep, goats and the elusive marmot. In addition we saw llamas and turkeys. Not many birds. Clinton thinks he saw an eagle with green feathers, but maybe it was a grappa infused vision.
What I have really enjoyed seeing is all the different wild flowers, probably over 10 species. I am told that June and July are the times to come to really see the hills come alive with wild flowers.
Our hiking ended at 4 pm for “lunch” at another rifugio. It was another incredible day of vistas.