Tag: hiking

Alta Via 2, Day 7: Losing Our Way

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It’s hard to believe that one could wake up hungry after last night’s meal, but such is our metabolism after a solid month of hiking that it is true. And, when we go down to breakfast, we are pleased to find all of our dining mates from last night already there, as well as a full spread of breakfast pastries. We are treated to all the usuals as well as homemade bread and butter and even a giant honeycomb.  (more…)

Alta Via 2, Day 6: A Taste of Culinary Nirvana

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Today we stumbled into culinary heaven in a small hamlet in the Dolomites, the finest finish to a day of hiking one could ask for, but I’m getting ahead of myself. We start the day at Rifugio Passo Fedaia with a surprisingly good breakfast buffet, the highlight of which would be gigantic fresh coronetti marmolada, fittingly since we will walk around the famous Marmolada glacier today. (more…)

Alta Via 2, Day 5: The Magnificent Marmolada

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For some reason or another, everyone in the rifugio wakes up at 6 and heads downstairs in a mad dash for breakfast, leaving us all alone upstairs. I don’t mind the early rise because I am wide awake after a terrible night’s sleep. I tap Matt awake in our cosy, little loft above the German family and start getting dressed. What is everyone in such a rush for? Maybe the breakfast is just as good as last night’s dinner?!?!
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Alta Via 2, Day 4: A Daunting Day with a Grand Finale

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Last night, as the sun was setting, I was taking photographs of the hills across the canyon at the end of the valley, one side of which we had walked along at the end of our day. As I packed up my tripod to head back to the rifugio, a German woman started to head back at the same time. She asked where we were heading to today and after hearing my response said, Oh, that’s a long way! It’s right over there, gesturing to a small building on the top of the highest point of the tallest mountain at the edge of the visible horizon. Little did we know how right she was or about what it would take to get ourselves there. But thankfully Day 4 of the AV2 is blessed with spectacular scenery from start to finish, making our journey well worth every hard-earned step! (more…)

Alta Via 2, Day 3: The Real Challenge Begins!

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Breakfast is at 7 at Rifugio Geneva, and, for the first time in all of our rifugio stays this summer, there is a long line of hikers waiting for the buffet. We are on the tail end of the rush and decide to take care of our other chores first. By the time we are finished packing up and visiting the bathroom, there’s hardly a wait. This rifugio has all the breakfast standards plus hard-boiled eggs which provide a little bit of much-needed protein on these trekking days. (more…)

Alta Via 2, Day 2: A Taste of the Tyrol

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After a pleasant and full night of sleep in a relatively quiet dorm room, we wake at 6:30 to pack our bags and head down to breakfast. Though it must have rained over night, I am pleased at my first glance out the window as the range of jagged mountains that only slightly revealed itself through shifting clouds last night (and then disappeared entirely under a thick bank of clouds) is now fully visible. Breakfast is simple but adequate. The coffee is strong, and my three cups have me ready to hit the trail. (more…)

Alta Via 2, Day 1: An Auspicious Start

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For the past several nights, we have gotten way off of our trail schedule, staying up late and sleeping in past 7, which has been a nice change pace but is not super helpful when it’s time to get going again. We have a few errands to run this morning, including mailing our suitcase ahead to Feltre and picking up a few supplies for lunches for the next several days at the grocery store in town. (more…)

Goodbye, Switzerland! Ciao, Italia!

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After 21 days of wandering around the Mont Blanc massif on the Tour du Mont Blanc and then all the way to Zermatt on the Haute Route, it’s finally time to bid a fond farewell to the Alps and make our way south to Italy where we can begin one of the classic treks through the Dolomites known as the Alta Via 2. But first, we have to get there, so today is a travel day with an intentional stopover in fair Verona, as Shakespeare would have it, to rest our feet and soak up some Italian food and culture along the way. (more…)

Haute Route, Day 13: Zermatt or Bust!

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After a fabulous night of sleep, in a super comfortable bed, in a quiet room, that we have all to ourselves—definitely not the norm on the Haute Route if you are trying to travel on a budget—we wander downstairs to the restaurant to discover a fantastic breakfast. Peter, the chef/proprietor of the hotel serves us coffee and tea while running around and greeting all the guests. Man, does he work hard! The coffee is the cleanest, best-tasting cup I’ve had in a long time, and I savor every last sip. (more…)

Haute Route, Day 12: Making Our Way to St. Niklaus

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When the alarm goes off at 6:15, I am ready and waiting for it. We are in a dorm room with about ten other people, and I don’t want to wake up the others, if that’s even possible in such tight quarters. We fold up our sleep sacks, grab our stuff and tiptoe out of the room as quietly as possible. All of our stuff is in a cubby in the hallway, and this makes packing up a little easier. Even though it’s a bit cramped, at least we don’t have to try to be quiet while putting everything into our bags. (more…)