While I was putting together my previous post on the bike trip, I couldn’t help but think of this hike we did a few days before the trip started. I hadn’t planned to post about it, since it was last summer, but the scenery is so amazing and the pictures of the mountains still take my breath away, I figuredI would share.
Before the biked trip, we stay a couple of days in the small mountain town of Ortisei. We stayed at the Alpin Garden Resort. It’s just outside the town, but close enough to walk to the shops and restaurants. And there is a view like this…
This is a zoomed-in view, but still this view of the Dolomites is spectacular, especially as the late afternoon sun passes by. You can enjoy the view as you snack and sip in the garden area.
One of the things I had wanted to do during our stay in this area was a hike among the mountains. I had done a bit of research at home about potential places and starting points, but it seemed a bit abstract until we were actually there. Fortunately, the hotel had a book filled with all kinds of outdoor options including hikes. We were primarily there to relax (since we had a week of biking coming up), so I didn’t want to be overly ambitious. Just a couple of hours. We found just the right path, and it started right in town.
We made our way to the center of Ortisei, which in the winter is a thriving ski resort, and is set up for the ease of getting to the lifts and sending you on your ways downs the pistes. There is a covered sidewalk moving up toward a funicular. We took the funicular up to the top. That in itself would have been a great outing. The funicular takes you to the top of the mountain where there is a “hut,” or refugio as they are called in Italian, to greet you. You can have lunch and enjoy the outdoor air and the view of this valley.
As tempted as I might have been just to stay there, we were headed to the Rifugio Brogles, so we followed signs like this to make our way there.
One thing we found interesting and different about these signs compared to signs on hiking paths in the U.S. is that instead of giving the destination in distance, it gives destination in about of time it would take to reach. It turned out to be fairly accurate, at least for us. The destinations are listed in three languages: Italian, German, and the local language of Ladin. All three languages are spoken throughout the region.
As we made our way toward the Rifugio, we sometimes shared the path with the friendly cows. They can never sneak up on you though, because of the their iconic bells.
Every where we looked on this hiked, we were stunned by the beauty. We repeatedly stopped to take photos, convinced that we hadn’t quite captured the beauty of the place.
Although you might not expect it from the mountain scenery, the hike was a fairly easy walk. There were only two hills. One of them down to the rifugio itself. But, the rest was flat and easy going.
Here you can see the destination, the Rufigio, located at the end of the trail.
Once we got to the rifugio, we settled in at a table for some sustenance. We order a typically-Austrian soup, but it turned out they were out of it, so we got some potatoes.
Leaving the Rifugio…
We passed another smaller refugio on the way. All of them offer food and drink. Such a great find on a hike.
On the way back down the funicular, ending one of the most beautiful hikes of my life.