A Day on the Dolomites

On Saturday morning we were off to Marmolada, the highest mountain of the Dolomites and what is called the  “Regina delle Dolomiti” that translate to the Queen of the Dolomites!  At  3,343 meters (10,968ft) Marmolada is the highest peak in The Dolomites with a permanent glacier at the summit. Our plan was not to hike up there as we had small kids but to take theo cable cars to the top ( 3 in total).

La Marmolada

Sometimes I am surprise that people I have no idea what the Dolomites are when I mention them. So, the Dolomites consist of a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, so it is a section of the Alps. It has 18 peaks that rise to above 3,000 metres and cover 141,903 ha. It features some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere, with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys. Five provinces belong to the region of the Dolomites (Trento, Bolzano, Belluno, Udine and Pordenone), while there are three different ethnic and linguistic groups: Italian, German and Ladin. I know right!  The main mountain groups of the Dolomites are: Dolomiti di Brenta (West Trentino), Sella, Odle-Puez-Putìa, Sciliar-Sassolungo, Marmolada, Pale di San Martino, Catinaccio-Latemar, Civetta-Moiazza, Pelmo-Nuvolau-Croda da Lago, Fanes-Sennes-Braies, Tofane-Cristallo, Sorapiss-Antelao-Marmarole, Cadini di Misurina, Dolomiti di Sesto and Alpi Feltrine-Schiara.

Back to our trip, when we arrive to the Marmolada, unfortunately the  The cable-railway it was closed for maintenance and it was going to re open for the summer at the end of June.

A cow chilling at the feet of the Marmolada

But we didn’t get discouraged, especially my oldest brother Giuseppe. He is one of the most positive and giving person I know and he not only knows everyone but he is loved by them as well! So he made a couple of phone calls to this guys he know that lives in the area and there we were on our way to Sasso Bordoi is called the “Terrazza delle Dolomiti” that stands for the “Terrace of the Dolomites” for its characteristic shape.

Passo Pordoi

Sass Pordoi is at 2950 metres above sea level, on the peak of the Sass Pordoi, a natural terrace that offers a magnificent panorama over the principal Dolomitic peaks. From the rifugio’s terrace, the grandness of the Dolomites dominates the view.  Around us we can admire the peaks of Antelao, Pelmo, Civetta, Marmolada (queen of the Dolomites), Gran Vernel, Pale di S.Martino – Costabella, Lagorai, Latemar and Catinaccio are particularly striking.

Map of all the peaks

So here we were going up to the top!

Funivia Sass Pordoi

In the photo above you can see that we had to make the journey up the steep mountain road negotiating 27 hairpin bends. Si 27 Tornanti! Mamma mia! My stomach was upside down!

I Tornanti

In less than 5 minutes we were at the top and the view was spectacular!

Breathtaking view

There is a restaurant up there and a lookout platform, famous for its views towards the Marmolada.  The cable-car is free hanging – there are no pillars on the 800m ascent!

Going up

Also easy to recognise the shapes of the various mountain groups of the Dolomites: Sella, Pordoi, Sassolungo, Catinaccio, Monzoni, and Marmolada as well as the Dolomite mountain groups.

View of all the peaks around. At the far back right in front is the Civetta meters 3220

Here is the picture of the “Sella” that we found at the valley station of the gondola.

Passo Sella

The mountain top is  really flat & wide in places. In some areas, they put up fences. But the farther away you get from the cable car station, the more you need to rely on good sense to make sure you don’t step off the cliff as you admire the view. Dustin was blown away of how there were no signs up there to warn the people to be careful. What can I say, Italian are fearless=D

My brothers walking around

Such interesting rock formations.

Close up of the rocky mountain

It was absolutely amazing up there. Dustin was a little nervous as he has a fear of heights.

Dustin walking around

In spite of that thought he was a good sport and took many photos with me=)

Me and my baby

Another photo standing

My youngest brother Michele, his wife Aneta and their son Federico.

Cretti Family

Of course I had to perform the dancer pose.

Dancer pose on Sass Pordoi

My youngest brother, who is definitely worse than me, started to get adventures jumping from one rock to the other and hanging off the cliff holding on a climbing metal rod.

Nice view

My brother

He had the same idea I had and went on this small rock that was in the middle of nothing. Very hard to explain.

Here he is on top of the world

Then of course  Aneta wanted to dare too..

Aneta

And finally of course I couldn’t resist and off I was. Dustin, who is very much scare of falling, couldn’t stay there still and watch me and so he started to walk away. My oldest brother Giuseppe was following starting to blathering something in Italian.

Meditating

Finally I went back but I did it in style=)

Jumping

There were a lot of people climbing that mountain…can you see them!

People climbing up

I love this photo of my brother sitting of the rock.

Michele enjoying the view

It was so relaxing that my oldest brother Giuseppe and his son Patrick joined him.

A moment of peace

My nephew Patrick was showing us that the snow doesn’t really melt=)

Patrick

It was time to go down and head home!

View from the Gondola

Next time we go back to Italy we are gonna hike around the Dolomites, especially I’d love to see The Tre Cime (Three Peaks) di Lavaredo.

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