We love to go a'wandering.......La Valle,Dolomites

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May 1st 2013
Published: May 3rd 2013
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Missing our daily gelatos but there is nothing we can do as there are no stores selling them here!

We both woke this morning short of breath and we can only put it down to the altitude of about 1400 mtrs above sea level we are at.Hopefully that won't put us off some walks we have got planned for the next couple of days.

When we arrived yesterday the temperature was cold and it is easy to see why spring is only just coming to the area with the flowering trees yet to break their buds and green leaves only just starting to show.However in contrast the grass on the mountainside around the houses is green,very green almost as if the grass has said 'right,now the snow cover has gone I am really going to do my thing'.

Today dawned with a weak sun shining down on the valley although there is still cloud on the mountain tops making them look darker than we would like to get the best photos and videos of the stunning scenery all around us.

After a hearty breakfast we headed down the hill taking the shortcut which we won't return by as the road is so steep that it seems hard to believe that cars let alone people can get up it.

Although the temperature had warmed up since yesterday there was at least one house that we noticed had smoke coming from the chimney as the locals keep the insides of their homes warm until the real spring and summer arrives.All of the houses have stacks of firewood around them.Its hard to tell if they are leftovers from the winter just finished or the new supplies they have got in for next winter.All we know is that all the houses have stacks of them with some in several places around the house.

Our trip down to the town at the bottom of the hill was a waste of time as we didn't find either a grocery store or a bakery which was our aim in making the journey.Now we had to walk back up the hill about 2.5km although this time we would go the longer way which was a much easier walk.

On the way up we passed an interesting looking house which had a normal looking frontage to the street but the rear of the property had 4 or 5 large skylights in the lawn.It appeared as though the occupants ofthe house which was built back into the hillside lived partly underground with the skylights giving light and air into the rear room(s).Presumably it would be warm in that part of the house during the coldest part of the winter.

Gretchen toasted the two bread rolls we had left with cheese,salami and tomato for lunch and then we were ready for the afternoon walk which was up to an alpine church about 200 metres further up the mountainside and then along some other roads and back home again.We had a map we had picked up from the very modern tourist office in the village centre and it all looked very straight forward.

It was virtually straight up from the village to a pathway that led across the mountainside into a small wooded area.We were happy that every so often we had to stop to catch our breath because we could then take in the changing scenery as we went on our way.

It took about 45 minutes to get to the church which was well worth visiting considering its history which dated from 1490.It was a small church which had had the interior frescoes restored.

The path across the mountainside took us past the remains of another church and two houses that dated back to the 1700's although they too looked like they had been restored to some degree.

It was difficult to stop taking photos and video of the mountains that seemed so close you reach out and touch them.

While we were admiring the majesty of the mountains Gretchen spotted two avalanches that contained snow and water cascading down the rock face.In the first instance you saw the snow and water falling then the sound of the avalanche arrived across the valley making the whole scene very dramatic.Good ness what it would be like being close to the mountain on the other side of the valley but we might try that tomorrow.

We carried on back towards our apartment noting that each tiny settlement of houses every few hundred metres had a name of its own.Some of the houses were occupied by people who kept animals although except in one instance the animals had been moved somewhere else now that they could live outdoors.The mountainside is too steep for cows so except for a few sheep and goats the hillsides are empty of animals.

We did pass one barn where the cows were still being kept inside.The smell was almost overpowering and it was enough to stop briefly to take some video and then head on our way.The life of a cow under these conditions must be very hard and its little wonder that our cows in NZ seem less stressed being able to live outdoors.

It took us a couple of hours to make it back to the main village where we called into the shop to buy some bread and eggs and see what else there might be for our dinner tomorrow night after our walk to the bottom of the hill this morning hadn't resulted in any success.

The shop had a huge range of items from stationery to linen and materials as well as grocery lines and we w ere sure we would find something to have for dinner.The woman serving, neither spoke or understood English so it was going to be interesting if we had to try and explain what we wanted if we couldn't see the food item on the shelf or in the chiller.Getting the cheese and proscuito was relatively easy although Gretchen had to put a stop to the slices being put through the machine before we ended up with way too much.Then the challenge came!We needed another half dozen eggs as Gretchen was going to make a frittata using extra potatos and asparagus we would cook up tonight and mix the proscuito in for a tasty all in dinner.

The locals seem to speak an odd dialect that is neither Italian or Austrian(we are very close to the Austrian border) and we had no idea what the translation would be for eggs!

As we couldn't see any eggs on the shelves,Gretchen started out trying to show what we wanted using sign language and her hands making an oval outline.That didn't bring any response from the poker faced woman and she couldn't see any humour when Gretchen started to make a movement that would have passed for a fairly good 'Chicken Dance'.

We were starting to get a bit desparate and the frittata didn't look like it would be happening as we needed the eggs to bind the ingredients together.

Then at the last moment before we gave it away we spotted a half dozen eggs in a tray on a shelf in the chiller.It was at this point that the woman showed some relief and a smile came to her face at last!Success and frittata will now happen tomorrow night.

With our supplies packed in the shopping bag we made our way down the path to our apartment and sat back and enjoyed a wine while we reviewed what we had seen by way of scenery on our walks and our experience in the shop.We both agreed today had been what this adventure is all about,seeing spectacular scenery and mixing with the locals which is made all that much more interesting when neither of us understand what each other are saying.!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


3rd May 2013
The alpine church built in 1490

What a lovely photo
Nice to see historic buildings remaining in good condition. A lovely shot.
4th May 2013
The alpine church built in 1490

Thank you Dave and Merry Jo,it was a lovely little church that must have seen a lot of history including battles in the 1st World War when the Italians and Austrians fought over the Dolomites.The whole area is fantastic and a photographers dream.More coming as we took another walk the next day and then a drive through more of the Dolomites as we headed back towards Venice.It reminds us very much of the Rockies in the USA and Canada although here you seem to be so close to them here.
3rd May 2013
The alpine church built in 1490

What a lovely photo
Nice to see historic buildings remaining in good condition. A lovely shot.
4th May 2013

Having fun touring with you.
Exhausted climbing those lovely mountains,you both should return home very fit,not that you were idle when you both left.We met your neighbours today Graham & wife at the hospital were were there for a session for young doctors to train in mine and Graham's and 4 other patients with similar. Complaints as ours,we there 2 hours,both of us were worn out by the end especially. Graham. We will be going round to visit them at a later date, his wife is really lovely,Stan has. Put some more grass seed on lawn 2 as the other lot got washed away,all is. Going o,k and hopefully the rain will not be too heavy this week-end.Typing this on our I.pad and keep hitting the wrong keys have to try going slower lol.Take care and look forward to travelling with you next location love meg and stan.

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