Published: July 7th 2012July 7th 2012
Verona to Chiusa
June to 4th
We head off towards The Dolomites.
The drive north felt like we were heading into another world. One minute we are in the flat lands and then WOW, the mountains are just there. It felt like a new adventure was about to start – so excited.
We find a campsite in Chiusa, and this one has two levels of fees - €14 a night for electricity and water – NO showers or toilets. The motorhome has a toilet and shower. If we wanted showers and toilets and also included was a swimming pool, it would cost €31 a night. So this campsite is different again from all the others. The campsite is at the start of The Dolomites, on the major road A22. The campsite is 500metres ASL and on each side the mountains go up to 2000metres ASL. So we will head out on scooter and also do some cycling as the cycleway is along
At least with some of the bits we purchased, Tom sort-of fixed the shower again.
It is cooler here at the moment.
We did a 2 hour bicycle ride along the river edge.
On Sunday everything is closed. Later Tom goes on a scooter ride up to Lazfons and will try on bicycle if he is up to it.
Lovely dinner at the campsite restaurant - a tad expensive, but good and plenty of food.
Even though we are in Italy, it feels more like Germany. The restaurant opens from 6pm to 9pm, the food is German style and everyone speaks German.
We walked up to the church and the monastery – about 220 metres high of climbing in a short distance.
Then into tourist office to look at what to do. We purchased a 7 day pass which includes train/bus/museums/some cable cars for the Sudtirol (south Tyrol) area and so we plan our week ahead. Really good value considering the kms we will be doing.
Tom goes for a ride up mountain road in the morning. After lunch we go for a 3 hour bicycle ride by the river. The cycle way is at a guess 100kms long and so there are many touring people and riders both road and MTB.
We get map of cycle way and find that it goes from Brenner (north) to Bolzano (south) along the river and there is accommodation and food stops along the way in all the towns it passes through. Wish we had this at home. The map shows rides off to both sides but there are many more. The steepest one climbs to 2400m. You could spend a long time here and only touch this side of the Dolomites.
So onto to the bus – Tom says it is nice that someone else is driving.
Off to the museum to see ‘Otzi’. He is called ‘The Ice Man’ as his body was found in 1991 and dates back 5100 years ago. It changed the date of the copper age by 1000 years. We spent 3 hours there.
to cable car and it takes us up to 2100 metres to Sopprabolzano which has good views of The Dolomites. From there we take a 2 carriage train along the plateau to Collabro. The views are fantastic. Then we walk to the natural pyramids –Piramidi di terra a Renon–10 to 15metres high formed by rocks, large and small, that stop the erosion of dirt from underneath them.
Walked back to railway station. Take the cable car down to Bolzano and decide to take the train back to Chiusa for a different view. Yep a different view, mostly tunnels – bummer.
Cook dinner with some sweet chilli sauce which we found in an Indian grocery store in Bolzano – at long last.
Into Chiusa for markets – not much there.
Then onto the bus to St. Ulrich – what a trip, round some tight bends and the scenery is fantastic. From St. Ulrich we get another bus to Fie – have a look around and have some lunch.
Onto another bus to Siusi for a stop that was recommended to us. Here and at Fei we saw
30.6.12 Glorenza - smallest city in South Tyrol
Completely preserved wall around the whole of the city
kids who had been to ski lessons, so Tom asked if it was indoors or outdoors. He got a strange look – he was told that they practice outdoors – Tom asks ‘if it is on the glaciers’ and was told ‘yes’.
Back onto bus to St. Ulrich for a look at wood carvings as this village is renowned for it, and then back home.
On the train to Vipiteno. The city is famous for its yoghurt.
We see some clocks in a window display and in we go - very nice and contemporary. After much discussion, we buy one for the cabana. They will hold it til we return in the afternoon.
Have a look around town and do some personal shopping.
Then we take a very long walk to Tasso Castle (or Reifenstein Castle – German name). It is very old – from the 12th
century - and is one of the best preserved and significant castles in South Tyrol from an artistic-historic point of view. Well worth the visit. While waiting for the castle to open we meet a young couple with 5
& 7 year olds and chatted to them before the tour.
We walk back to town, pick up the clock and have a gelato and a little boy says ‘you talk English’. So we chat to him and his mother. His mother is from Mexico, England, USA and now married to an Italian. She lived in Milano but now in Vipiteno and loves it here over everywhere else.
Taxi to the station and then home on train – lucky there was left over dinner as were exhausted and we just got home before the storm.
Up at 6am and on the train to Merano (Meran). Then try to work out how to get to Malles (Mals) as there is track work and the trains are not running all the way. So with the help of railway officers, eventually work out we have to get bus to Lasa (Laas) and then train to Malles (Mals). There are cyclists everywhere and of all levels, as the cycleway runs beside the train track/river. Lots of cyclists go to end of line which is the highest point and then cycle back. So
this was a very very long trip to Malles(Mals) but very scenic.
When we walk to the information office, we hear music (and Gaye is hungry as it is 11.30am). There is a celebration going on – free champagne, sausages. Stayed and ate and drank and chatted to one of the entertainment staff (from USA). We mentioned that we missed the bus to the next town, Glorenza (Glurns), so she goes over to the Mayor and tells him our problem. He offers to give Gaye a lift. She accepts but says there is problem, she has to bring her husband as well – he totally misses the joke, and says no problem.
Glorenza (Glurns) is the smallest city in South Tyrol and is surrounded by a completely preserved curtain wall, massive defence towers, and town gates.
After a walk around the town, we get the bus back to the station and go to Merano (Meran) that has the thermal spa pools.
When we get there it is a massive indoor/outdoor complex of many pools and a large grassed area, cafe shop, and it is packed.
We laze around til 7pm and then get the train
home by 8.30pm.
A good but long & hot day.
The weather forecast is for 37º, so decided to have a rest day. We hang around the campsite til midday.
Then we head out on the scooter. We only went up to one villages and then back down to public swimming pool along with everyone else. €7 each for a whole day and you can get a pass out if you want. We didn’t – nowhere to go.
So at 7pm we head back home for dinner and Tom goes to watch the final of Euro 2012 football between Italy and Spain. A bit one-sided. Spain won 4-0 and always looked in control.
We went out on scooter and did a look around ride to Lajon (Lajen) up beside the river which is a minor road then through town and back down main road. Going up was very winding and narrow and no traffic. The scenery again was jaw dropping.
Tom on push bike for a 50km ride, but when he gets home he is shattered.
A stormy night last night.
Up at 6am, for the bus towards Corvara (Kurfar). First a bus to Plan, then change for a bus to Corvara. This bus went through the Passo di Gardena. WOW.. What scenery. We had sore necks constantly turning around. Going by bus allows us (Gaye) no stress, and for Tom to see the scenery rather than having to drive. Although the motorhome would do it, it’s too loaded and would have had to work it too much in the heat. The roads are very windy through the passes.
We have a look around Corvara (Kurfar) – take the cable car up to the top and for a look and a walk around, then back down. We take a different route back to Chiusa to see different scenery. So onto another bus to Badia (Abtei). Stop there for lunch and a look around and back onto bus along more narrow winding roads to Brunico (Bruneck).
We were home by 4pm so not too long a day but very very good.
Clean up and
catch-up day today as we are leaving tomorrow morning.
Tom did a bicycle ride for 2 hours.
He decided to clean one of the hoods – wrong move – it took a while to work out how to fix it after he stuffed it up. Lots of bad language !!! It’s back in place now with 2 screws missing. He found them later.
There are more photos below