Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dolomites Trip Part 1: Overview

Nick and I just returned from a long 2 week vacation to Italy. When I told everyone we were going to Italy, I got a ton of recommendations for cities to visit, food to try, wines to drink (this was before my pregnancy was known to the world). I had to politely say, nope, we're not going to any of the big cities or seeing the monuments, we're hiking in the far north (not Tuscany...), staying in tiny mountain inns and eating whatever food they have available. People seemed confused.

We started looking into hiking trips, by which I mean I Googled "hiking vacations" and went from there. We also vaguely wanted to go overseas. When we booked the trip, I was in the midst of fertility treatments. That time period sucked so, so bad, and I needed something to look forward to. A big European trip, that could double as our last big pre-baby vacation, sounded perfect, so I started looking at Europe. Italy, specifically the Dolomites, popped up many times, and the pictures quickly convinced us it was the place for us.


Since my sense of adventure does not extend to planning my own overseas vacations, we chose Dolomite Mountains trip planners to do it for us. We chose to do 5 days of backpacking/hiking plus 3 days of via ferrata, meaning "iron road," which is mostly like this:

Not a picture of me, but a good representation. 

Basically, you're rock climbing, but it is is heavily assisted by fixed ropes that you clip into, and occasionally ladders. We wanted a challenge and at the time actually being pregnant during the trip wasn't even a remote possibility to me, so I figured I'd just plan the trip and figure out those details later.

For the two portions of the trip, we stayed overnight in rifugio (mountain inns) and carried all our clothing and snacks for the 5 days of backpacking, then went back to a hotel, and packed up again for the last 3 days of via ferrata. I'll talk more about the logistics in future posts, but it definitely added to the challenge. Carrying all your belongings on your back while trying to get your body up a crazy rock wall? That was fun.

In summary: it was epic, I have lots to talk about, there will be more posts. 

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