Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Dolomites Italy Lago di Braies & Grunwald Hutte June 9, 2019

I arrived in Villabassa last night after a three hour drive north of the Marco Polo Airport in Venice Italy.  Villabassa is an adorable little mountain village in Italy's Dolomite region almost at the border with Austria. I was excited for our first hike and getting to know the others in our group.  We met at 9:00am with our guide while he shared with us an idea of what our week would look like.  Then it was time to hit the trail which was right outside the front door of our home away from home.     
We followed the signs for Route #1 which would lead us to Lago di Braies, the most famous lake in Italy.  We followed walkways and roadways through the village passing by beautiful decorated homes.  The surrounding hills were vibrant green and the views were so appealing to the eye.
 our guide leading the way
The views were of pastures and flowers and trees and then.... we topped out on a hill the view of the Dolomites was presented.
They would be with us now for the balance of our hike.  We continued along winding trails, through tiny villages, by farms and along flower lined paths.  It was already overwhelming and we had only been out for a couple of hours.
 a bouquet of tiny yellow roses
 rest spots along the trail
 We hiked in the middle of the street through a little mountain village.  
Our guide picked a place that would be perfect for a short break.  Some opted for a kick from a coffee, I got my kick from a strudel and lemonade.  This was my first true strudel and I knew it would not be my last.
 You never know what is around the corner.  
 We reached the entrance to the Nature Park.  
We veered off the main trail and did some light bushwhacking to enter Lago di Braies.  It was lunch time.  Our hotel provided an array of food to select from to make our packed lunches.  They even provided the tupperware style containers and environmentally friendly wooden cutlery.   The selection consisted of many salad items, breads & buns, fruit, deli meats & cheeses and bars of many sorts.  This was our lunch time view.
 view of Lago di Braies
 my destination shot
 We hiked around the Lake to the backside.  You can see the hotel at the other end.
 view of the Lake
 We took a few minutes here at the back of the Lake before taking a detour. 
The detour was to add some more gain and distance to reach the Grunwald Alm Hutte.  I missed something when the idea of taking the detour was suggested and did not know we would be going to a Hutte until I saw it when we went around a corner.  I was surprised and seemed like the only one that was.  I realized I needed to pay more attention to what we are being told and ask questions if need be.   This is Grunwald Alm Hutte.
After the Hutte visit, we hiked back down to Lago di Braies and circled around the other side of it to where we would catch the local bus for the 20 minute ride back to Villabassa.  The bus stop was pretty much at the door step of our home away from home.  What a wonderful hike, I was hooked on being here already.  


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