Monday, January 11, 2010

Pink Mountains Majesty

After two trains, a bus, and a very lengthy uphill walk (seriously, we deserve some sort of public transit medal), we ended up in this stunning locale:

It turns out that the Dolomite resort had a bit of an unexpected architectural pedigree, and Martello was in heaven. Hidden in the woods was perhaps (with the exception of the one in Modena) the most beautiful church we had ever seen, made of natural materials and totally integrated into the forest.

Just a few of Martello's many artful shots of Chiesa di Nostra Signora del Cadore (architects 
Carlo Scarpa and Edoardo Gellner)

Cool floor (plus Martello's foot). It's sliced logs embedded in concrete. 

To Trofie Wife, it was vaguely reminiscent of (though far grander than) a certain Jewish camp in Pennsylvania’s Chapel in the Woods (perhaps the only good thing to that place’s merit, with apologies to any alums of that institution who might be reading this). 

The resort itself was a bit of a mix of Club Med and the Catskills of Dirty Dancing, leaning more in the direction of the latter than the former. We avoided the evening activities (though there was one regrettable aperitivi at the piano bar, which involved watching an awkward pre-teen dance solo to a requested number…) and the food was pretty lackluster (the second night, our dinner was a block of barbequed cheese alongside French fries). They did, however, rent out bikes (yet again, no helmets; clearly they don’t value brains much in this part of the world). There’s a massive trail going through the mountains, and serious bikers do the whole thing.

The view that experienced bikers like Martello can enjoy.

Trofie Wife did okay on the flat and downhill parts (and enjoyed waving to the cows partaking in a meal alongside us) but struggled uphill and just wasn’t down with the whole no-helmet-on-mountain-bike situation. So I sent Martello on a solo trip while I rested and read at a rest stop. Following our gelato lunch it began to rain, which was not helpful as we walked (Trofie Wife) and rode (Martello) our bikes back up the massive hill.

In general, Trofie Wife and bikes seem to get along best when both are walking. 

All in all, the resort was just incredibly beautiful and relaxing, and we likely would have benefited from a couple more mornings spent gazing into the mountains.

The view from our hotel balcony

Yet it was time to continue the trek east and south…

Baci e gelato,
Martello e Trofie

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