It is Friday evening and we are in a rather grand old hotel on a lake in the Dolomites. Tomorrow we begin walking the Alta Via 1 (AV1).
We came from Venice by bus. A slow journey as we had to change buses twice, but pretty and interesting. The transition from the flat plain around Venice to mountains is sudden and dramatic. We are now 1500m above sea level and feel like we have entered a different world with Swiss-style alpine buildings, ski resorts and lots of German spoken. The people in this hotel are mostly couples and families on summer holidays by car, enjoying the beach by the lake and a little day hiking in the mountains. We are enjoying it too, But tomorrow it will change.
The AV1 is a moderate 11-day mountain walk. After the comfort of this hotel, we will stay in a mix of places ranging from quite spartan (no hot water, sleeping in dormitories) to quite comfortable. All will have great views and the company of fellow hikers. Our blogging will be sporadic as there will be few points with internet service.
We are looking forward to hiking. The weather has been good so far.
Attached are a few photos from today.