A Hiking Holiday in Italy. Part One


Last week about 50 of us from our hill-walking club went on a hiking holiday in the Dolomites in Italy, and what a week it was, hiking uphill and down, taking the cable car to the top and then hiking down (a much better option), laughing, singing, (the hills really were alive with the sound of the ‘Fields of Athenry’  on more than one occasion) relaxing, eating lovely Italian food and ice cream, and drinking wine and cocktails, and then getting up at 7 a.m. next morning and doing it all again!

The Dolomites

The Dolomites

We were staying in a hotel in a ski resort, which was about 1600m above sea level, and as you can see, there was still snow on the top of the mountains.

2013-07-01 12.11.30

Our Italian guide, Maurizio,  was very knowledgeable about the  environment we were walking through, and one day we came across a tree that had been visited by a woodpecker, the birds tap away at the bark and  make holes so that they can eat the termites that live in the trees.  They can tell by the sound that their tapping makes whether there are termites inside or not, that is why you sometimes see a few smaller holes on the tree, that may have been abandoned.   Once the bird is satisfied with the size of the hole, he sticks his very long tongue into the hole and the termites stick to the surface of the tongue, and make a nice meal for him.    We didn’t see any woodpeckers, but we did come across a golden eagle, and our guide told us that there are about 8 breeding pairs in that forest.

Everywhere along the trails through the mountains, we came across little huts called Rifugios, but they are quite well equipped ‘huts’, most have accommodation, and serve delicious food and wine, and we usually bought our lunch in one of these rifugios, rather than bringing soggy sandwiches and a drink from the hotel.  There were plenty tables and benches where we could eat outside in the sunshine, and most of them supplied deck chairs so that we could linger awhile and rest our weary feet.   I wonder are other countries in Europe so well equipped to look after hikers in the mountains, Ireland has a long way to go in that respect.

2013-07-04 16.00.18

There was so much beauty everywhere we went, I will post more photos of hiking in the snow, and our visit to an old city called Bolzana, a winery, and Lake Garda.    It was a very busy week, I would say an activity packed week!

Rifugio

Rifugio

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helen McGrath
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 00:02:20

    Hi Joan,
    It sounds & looks beautiful. That type of holiday has been on my bucket list for a while. I hope it will become reality soon.
    Cheers,
    Helen

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  2. Helen McGrath
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 00:24:58

    Since you write so well I think it is time you returned to school I’m now getting free tuition at McMaster University in Hamilton Woopee ! J

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  3. Trackback: A Hiking Holiday in Italy. Part One | Home Far Away From Home
  4. meticulousmick
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 10:14:25

    Looks great. M

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  5. wildsherkin
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 23:34:40

    Sounds wonderful Joan. I love the thought of the ‘Fields of Athenry’ ringing out across the Dolomites! That was my Dad’s favourite song. Patsy

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  6. The Roaming Bean
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:54:04

    I love the Dolomites; stunning, right?! Looks like you had fun (or should I say, craic?!).. Wish I was there, too!

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  7. janeykate
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 21:24:02

    Oh I love this! It reminds me why I love Italy so much. I’m very far from home at the moment, but hope to get back to Italy next year. Well done, lovely blog!
    Jane x

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  8. Trackback: A Hiking Holiday in Italy : Part Two | Retirement and beyond
  9. Sartenada
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 12:16:28

    Gorgeous landscapes there. We have never hiked abroad, only in Finland beyond the Arctice Circle where man can meet reindeers in the nature.

    Liked by 1 person

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