Monday, June 27, 2016

Gardeccia hike

Guess what! We do have (very limited) internet in the mountains!! Surprise!!
So here's a few pictures. Since we have to pay for all the internet we use, I'm going to do this as quick as possible.
Our whole family agrees that coming to the mountains is our favorite part of coming to Italy. The Italian Dolomites are absolutely spectacular. They're so different from what we're used to- intensely steep, dramatic, narrow valleys, wet, green forests, and a unique culture that results from our location, only about 20 miles, as the crow flies, from Austria. Almost everything here is written duplicately in Italian and German, or else Ladin, the local dialect, which is kind of a mix between the two. It's incredibly picturesque and quaint- tiny little villages, all the buildings with white and pastel plaster walls and dark wood roofs and gingerbread trim, windowboxes full of colorful petunias and geraniums, miniscule churches that look as though elves might live in them, fields full of wildflowers, communal fountains flowing with clear, fresh mountain water, so clean you can drink right out of them.
When you get above the valleys, the views are stunning. The trails are plentiful above treeline, connecting numerous rifugios- tiny inns or hostels where trekkers can stay while they explore the Alps.

And then there's the European Cup, going on as we speak, where Italy just beat Spain 2-0, and Iceland is currently beating England as we watch (hooray for the underdogs!) Things haven't been perfectly smooth with the family, but all things considered we're having a great time. :)

Ciao for now,
The Contolinis

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