What was your favorite part about your trip to the Dolomite Mountains?
I had been here twice before my trip with Dolomite Mountains… but much more briefly, and during shoulder season (aka mud season). Once in May, where we backpacked and camped because none of the huts were open yet. Another the following May where we stayed in Sesto for a conference when I was International Brand Manager at The North Face. The first trip was amazing, seeing the colors of the Dolomitic walls and how they rose up above us, but we were enshrouded in fog most of the time. The second trip was equally dramatic, but also hidden by fog – we probably had a 15 minute glimpse of Tre Cime di Lavaredo before it disappeared from sight for the rest of the trip. But I fell in love with the people, the food, the landscape, and the fact that the staff at the hotel spoke better English than they did Italian, and were the best at German, even though we were in Italy!
Finally getting to come here and explore the area, appreciate the trifecta of cultures, interact with a multitude of languages, see the area without fog (between rainstorms), and fall in love with the food and the architecture and crafts and people, was more than I could have imagined.
Why did you choose this trip over other options?
Work and photography.
What was your favorite local dish during your stay?
Kaiserschmarren, an incredible pancake/omelette that is a traditional dish in Austria and Northern Italy. It is served as a main course, a snack, or a dessert. I had it as all 3 at different rifugios and restaurants during my trip, and it never disappointed! There are many different ways it can be served – savory or sweet. My favorite was dusted with powdered sugar, pine nuts, and a berry jam.
What made your trip special?
The guides really made the trip come to life. Their knowledge about the region, stories about WWI and the tri-culture we have here, recommending cuisine and drink, introducing me to different hoteliers/chefs/other guides/friends…really made the place come to life for me! And, their distinct ability to recognize my hiking pace (or lack thereof), helping me understand how much hiking we were doing and how long it would take, when we needed to move on and when we could take our time, and facilitating my constant desire to pause to take photos was all amazing.
Who did you travel with? A friend? Family? A coworker?
I travelled on my own with different guides for several days, and as part of a photo trip/class for a week. I work for Dolomite Mountains, so this trip was a combination business trip, educating me about the region and all the hiking trails, climbing, and via ferrata, as well as a personal journey for the photography course.
What was your favorite town and why?
I loved Cortina because I loved browsing through the shops. But I preferred the ambiance of San Cassiano in Alta Badia more. I didn’t have much time in town – we were always out on the trail! So I got most of my culture while I was at hotels, at rifugios, restaurants, and with our guides. Hopefully I’ll get a little more village/museum/shop browsing time in next trip!