Sunrise hits the Dolomites from our hotel room in Cortina
In my excitement to post about Venice, I forgot to write about Cortina and our visit to the other side of the Dolomites. As you know the hiking has been a highlight on this trip. With my trusty hiking sticks purchased in Cortina, (speaking of purchases – to any family members reading this blog, there has been a blanket decision made- no presents this time 🙁 just too heavy to cart around except for Beau who can’t read yet- he has a small pressi) we tackled some of the harder walks of the trip. We caught a gondola up to the top of the mountain (Mt Falzago) and then walked down via a new walk called Dolom Eu which has panoramic views into the valley where Cortina sits. They are so panoramic that I could hardly bare to look over the edge at the view (I am quite scared of heights).
Up the top where the gondola arrives is a building which features in the Sylvester Stallone movie called Cliffhanger – it certainly is aptly titled. Many of the places we have visited this holiday have had movies filmed at them and we will enjoy Netflixing them when we get home.
Up the top of Mt Falzago where the movie Cliffhanger was filmed.
The very scenic Dolum Eu walk (212 route)
The panorama from the Dolum Eu walk
The sticks really do make a difference and I would never have made it to the top of some of the walks without them, (especially today after the Cinque Terre walk). To get back to Cortina we followed the number 206 trail until we reached the halfway spot for the gondola and we were able to catch the last one down. I was pretty exhausted by this time – so Bob working out where to find the gondola was a godsend.
What I’ve come to realise this holiday is, that what matters most when you are trying to keep in touch with your business when you are holidaying overseas is good wi-fi. We’ve had some excellent wi-fi at a few hotels (A Tribute to Music in Venice, Jungfraublick, Wengen Hotel Tyrol, Val di Funes) and some ordinary wi-fi (Hotel Europa) and some shocking wi-fi (La Villa degli Argentieri, Monterosso). In this day and age where a good internet connection means you can work from anywhere, it’s really a pretty basic requirement of any hotel.
The views from your windows? – you pretty much know what you are getting from the photos on the hotel website and how much you have paid for the tariff; all the pillows in Europe are shocking ……..fullstop; the beds are all two king singles joined so cuddling in bed is along quite a solid gap; and the breakfasts ?- well good luck if you are a coeliac because it’s cereal, bread, cheese and ham wherever you go. But one thing you can never be sure of is what is the wi-fi like when it says free wi-fi available! I do hope as a trend our Australian hotels generally supply a good service for our overseas tourists.
Another thing to beware of is, you could possibly come home with a new smoking habit that you didn’t have before you left, due to the enormous amount of passive smoking you will do certainly in Switzerland and Italy (for goodness sake Switzerland and Italy, get your act together and get Nicola Roxon as a consultant and reduce your cancer rates in 20-30 years). The cigarettes are way too cheap here and there’s one thing never missing from the hotel rooms and verandas is an ash tray – in fact the photo below is the biggest ash tray I have seen in my travels and the one beside it was ‘planted’ in the a very picturesque garden.
Back to the hiking – in Cinque Terre the hiking can be harder because it tends to be much hotter here and the trails can be in poor condition. They are often closed – if there has been rain there can be land slides or the paths just too treacherous. But after today I have worked out that it is easier (in my opinion) to walk from Venazza to Monterosso rather than the other way around now having done it both ways. To get to Venazza, we had to catch the ferry from Monterosso to Venazza, as there was a national train strike today.
At the end of the Venazza back to Monterosso walk.The sticks really do make a difference and I would never have made it to the top of some of the walks without them.
As a reward for another day of hiking a magnificent dinner at L’Ancora della Toguga – really takes the prize as the best value, spectacular setting and gorgeous food.
L’Ancora della Toguga, Monterosso, Cinque Terre
Sadly the end is getting closer……..