Wednesday 4 June - day 4
After 3 days strenuous hiking, and a forecast for mid afternoon thunderstorms, we agreed that today should be a lazy day. We still managed 8 kms as we explored the environs of Cortina.
The storms rolled in as expected and we were grateful not to be out on trail.
Thursday 15 June - day 5.
In the early 1900's the Dolomites alternated between Austrian and Italian rule. In 1916 the Italians commenced building a railway line to assist in their war with Austria. When the Italians retreated, the Austrians continued the build. Long story short the line from Dobbiaco in the north, to Calalazo south of Cortina, was completed in 1921 and electrified by 1929. I haven't been able to establish why it was decommissioned in 1962, but at some point since, it has been converted to a hiking and cycling trail which is now a part of the Munich / Venice cycle trail of 560 kms.
We chose to hike just 19 kms. The earliest bus we could catch to our starting point of Lago di Landro, north of Cortina, was 10.05 am. [3 euro] Lago di Lamdro sits at 1428 m.
Our starting point.
It was a 5 km gradual ascent to 1530 m, before the 14 km descent back to Cortina.
We were always surrounded by peaks.
Welcome shade in the heat.
Popular rest spot with cyclists, especially if they have cycled up from Cortina.
The descent commences.
On occasion, the road paralleled the trail. This is definitely not a sign I would see where I live.
One of the few remaining stations along the line.
The first of 2 tunnels.
Before entering the tunnel, there was a view to a rail bridge, high across the gorge.
During the nearly 4 hours, of yet again hot walking, I counted 197 cyclists passing us in either direction. I only spotted 7 hikers and they were in the first kilometre and more than likely just out for a stroll. Whilst being so popular with so many cyclists, we still felt it was as much our trail as theirs. After our previous strenuous days it was a much needed relaxing hike, but still surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Dolomites.
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