589 words on Travel
This year I finally managed to go for a skiing holiday again. After my first grown-up skiing trip five years ago went surprisingly well, another trip with a different group of friends had been planned for a while and happened now. We once more went to the Dolomites in Südtirol, Italy. Not only did I enjoy my previous trip there, they also have the massive Dolomiti Superski ski area which gives you more pistes than you could hope to use. According to my friends those pistes may be a bit too easy on average for long-time skiers, but the variety and the beauty of the region makes up for it.
In addition to that, it’s super-easy to get along in the region as pretty much everyone seems to speak Italian, German, which are local languages, as well as English for the tourists. People seem very friendly and many of them strive to take good care of their guests and make your stay enjoyable. Things are expensive – which seems to be ‘necessary’ for ski holidays, but not as pricey as in Austria or Switzerland. Even a lunch in a refugio on the pistes can be reasonably good and with good service and not just a plain rip-off if you are lucky which may be one in three or so.
I took a ski course once again, and our maestro, Hans, super-patiently – possibly even a bit too patiently – tried to bring us around the curves and up-to-speed on the pistes, so we could go on some longer trip the last day of the course and I could comfortably do the ‘Sella Ronda’ ride around the Sella group with my friends on the last day of our stay – no panic required. Naturally, now I want more…
Going in March seemed a bit risky at first as the weather has been quite warm recently, so we wondered how the snow situation would be. We learned that, yes, it had been warm in Italy as well – and indeed it was lovely and sunny throughout our stay –, but they make an effort to create enough ‘artificial’ snow early in winter to last all the way to the end of April. That, together with all the lifts they have shows how much business/dedication is going on there and makes you wonder how much of the landscape they destroyed by having such extensive skiing facilities (even though friends said the region is beautiful for hiking in summer as well). The whole lift thing is fascinating and I’ll have to read up a bit on how they make the steel ropes, how much power is used and so on. Probably Wikipedia will help; perhaps companies like Leitner and Doppelmayr who seem to build most of the lifts have interesting sites as well, including this script on ropeway technology with more information that you wanted. A small Schlepplift seems to use 60kW of power, a larger and longer chairlift 250kW.
A topic that crossed our way a few times was the question of fascism. Incidentally, Kulturzeit ran a report on right wing Italian movements during our stay. Accidentally my friend spotted a presumably ‘fun’ wine bottle with Hitler’s face on in the pizzeria next door – is this just a sign that people are stupid in the way people reading The Sun or Bild are? or is this worse? – And, well, amusingly the Dolomiti Superski Logo could be considered being a bit too close to the SS-Logo for comfort.
Too beautiful. It almost makes me wish I was a skier!
Wow, really nice photos, they definitely get you in the mood!
@Dave2, @Stefan: cheers!