We (my husband, two sons (16 & 19), my sister and her husband) just finished an amazing 3 night stay in the Dolomites so I thought I’d capture my thoughts while they are fresh in my head.
We flew into Munich from Seattle, connecting in Frankfurt. Arrived late afternoon and checked in to the Hilton at the airport. It was perfect for a first night: easy to get to - just a quick walk from the terminal; lots of food options for dinner; a grocery store at the airport. We had dinner at Airbrau and everything was great. We woke up early and got breakfast: some went to Airbrau, others picked up pastries at the grocery store (which even has fresh squeezed orange juice!)
We picked up our rental van and head for Santa Cristina Val Gardena. The driving is easy. The rental van is story for another time. I pre-paid the toll for the Brenner Pass as soon as we picked up the rental (you register the license # and the camera reads the license and opens the arm at the toll booth). Worked like a charm!
We arrived at Santa Cristina Val Gardena and checked into La Tambra Aparthotel. It is a steakhouse/pizzeria that has rooms and apartments above it. My sister and her husband stayed in a studio with balcony and the 4 others were in a family apartment with balcony. Incredible views of Sassalongo. Great rooms with great breakfast included. Sitting on the balcony watching the clouds roll over the mountain and the lighting change with the sun was pure heaven.
We had dinner on the patio at La Tambra. Between us we had: pizza with ham, ricotta, walnuts, pears & balsamic (out of this world good), 3 rib eye steaks with eggplant and potatos, a tenderloin steak, a diavolo pizza, three alcoholic drinks, a bottle of water, and four desserts. My sister said it was the best meal she’s ever eaten. Definitely the best pizza I’ve ever had. The total bill was 372 €, which I thought was very reasonable for 6 people.
Next day we took the bus to Ortesei and up the tunnel (La Curta) to the lift for Ortesei to Furnes. There we discovered that the second lift (Furnes to Seceda) was closed. Oh dear. Quick change of plans. I had planned to go to Alpe di Siusi the following day, so we decided to go to Col Raiser. It was absolutely breathtaking. The mountains feel so close from that vantage point- like you could reach out and touch them. The wildflowers are blooming in yellows and blues. It wasn’t very crowded (what a surprise!) and there were meadows just made for twirling like Julie Andrews. My heart was so happy! We got some epic family photos, then wandered over to Haite Odle for a fabulous lunch with a spectacular view. My goal every day is a meal with a view. It certainly didn’t disappoint.
That evening, I found out that the second lift to Seceda was closed indefinitely due to the death of a maintenance worker. So if we wanted to get up there we could walk up 4 km (nope!), or go to Col Raiser and take a chair lift waaaaay up. My husband is extremely afraid of heights and I meticulously planned to avoid chairlifts. So much for planning! I told him I need to go, but he doesn’t. But he went (such a trooper!).
The view is out of this world amazing. Holy moly. We didn’t venture far from the station, and I have much respect for people that do. It is much steeper than I expected. Again we took some epic photos and just sat in awe of the sites.
We took the chairlift back down and stopped at the Baita Cuca Seceda for lunch. Sitting in the sling chairs enjoying the view with a Spezi ( half coke half Fanta) with ICE (!!) was just beyond heavenly. We had the regional pancake dish served with 4 sauces: Nutella, vanilla, berry jam and apples. Yum! I really didn’t want to leave. Pure bliss. The long slog of an uphill walk to Col Raiser was less than bliss, but this out of shape 50 yo made it, with a few stops.