Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Dolomites, Italy - Day 3

Tuesday 13 June 

Initially on our arrival in Cortina, the spring bus schedules had not begun. This meant we would not be able access Tre Cime de Lavarado, the number one trail to hike in the Dolomites. Huge disappointment.

We had arrived on a Saturday and thankfully over the weekend an assessment of the spring like conditions was made, with the bus companies announcing that a number of routes would now have timetables. So, so lucky and grateful not to have missed this paradise of peaks and vistas.

We were first in the queue, for the first bus of the day, at 8.37 am. It was a half hour journey to the small town of Misurina, where thankfully, the bus had a ten minute stop, allowing me to enjoy these glorious surroundings.

This photo was actually taken on our return journey. Tre Cime is almost in view on the RHS.

From Misurina, it was a slow journey up the steep, elbow bend winding road.

View back down to Misurina from the Refugio Auronzo car park.

Our starting point at Rif. Auruonzo, looking down into the Val de'Auronzo - wow!

The trail we took from Rif. Auronzo.

It was actually quite flat and wide, but with a steep drop off to Frank's right. 

Panorama from here.

View down and a second trail for the intrepid.

View up from the trail to the back of the Tre Cime.

The Memorial Chapel of the Three Peaks.

The circle pinpoints the chapel below the towering peaks. We had taken a side trail down to the end of the ridge, to have closer views of the Val de' Aruronzo.

World War 1 monuments overlooking the valley. Tre Cime in the background.

Returning to the chapel, the trail continued below the Tre Cime peaks to Rifugio Lavaredo [2344 m]. Here we commenced the narrow, steep for us, ascent to Forcella di Lavaredo [2454 m]. 

We were greeted by more breath talking views, not only of the surrounding panorama, but also of the front view of the 500 metres high, Tre Cime.

Our next destination is Refugio Locatelli [circled]. The arrow points to the descent we took, after our lunch break at this rifugio.

On this section of the hike to Rif. Locatelli, more sheer rock faces and pinnacles, towered above us. How perfect is this window in the rock?

Looking back to Tre Cime Peaks from Rif, Locatelli.

Our lunch view at Rifugio Locatelli, was of the opposite direction to the 3 peaks. The temperature had risen to the high 20's, [not at all normal.] so we were glad to have a change of shirts with us.

Energised after our break, we commenced the descent required to continue our circuit of these magnificent peaks. In this photo, you can see the trail we have already traversed to Refugio Locatelli from the Tre Cime peaks.

The pink line is the trail we took to Rif. Locatelli and the blue line is the beginning of our descent. The trails briefly joined.

These phenomenal peaks stayed with us for an amazing length of time, as the trail dipped and flattened, twisted and turned. Just totally awesome!

Final major descent.

Getting lower.

Now down. Time for a breather before....................

......... the up.

Looking back to Refugio Locatelli, our lunch stop.

Our final glimpse of the peaks.

Spot the hikers walking around this small glacial lake.

The final kilometre or two. 

A school excursion slowed us down on this narrow ledge. Wonderful to see the group being inspired  to enjoy nature, but totally relieved to not be in charge. 
Our view to Misurina returns.

At this point we could see the carpark and were watching the time to make sure we caught the 3.10 pm bus back to Cortina. We got talking to a lovely family from South Africa, who offered to take this photo. We reciprocated and then fell into discussion of cricket and rugby union battles between our two countries. Our bus appeared and we had to make a mad dash so as not to miss it. Little did we realise [very poor timetable readers], that once we got to Mesurina, we would sit for 2 hours before  our driver returned to deliver us back to Cortina. Remember the morning views? Well we weren't too upset and soon found coffee and pastries to enjoy, as we relaxed in these spectacular surroundings. 

We were far too early for the alpine flowers, but those I saw, filled me with wonder and joy.

A truly magnificent day in these unique mountains. Feeling so incredibly fortunate.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Again--- thanks for sharing these!

  2. Wow! Totally amazing scenery! Glad the buses were running and you were able to do this hike.

  3. Oh no, having little time for blogging, I almost missed your wonderful trip in my favourite country! :) Now I'm off to read the other posts. You always find something special, even in areas that one would think to know thoroughly.
    Thank you for the lovely photos. Wishing you happy - and not too hot and dry - spring days!

    1. Thank you Sara. It is 6am and I am enjoying the sounds of of much wanted rain, falling on our rooftop. Pleased for us, but relieved for so many farmers in our drought stricken areas. I was hoping you would see our Stresa visit. Sincerely hope that life slows down soon for you.

  4. Wow... this is truly spectacular!

    1. A complete opposite to your part of the world.
      We felt so small amongst the peaks.

  5. So hard to say which of the photos I enjoyed more. The ones of the mountains with the lake in the foreground or the sensational peaks high. What an absolutely fantastic day

  6. What incredible scenery Helen! Now I want to add The Dolomites to my list of places to hike! I thought how you are getting to relive your adventures writing your posts well after your trip. Thank you for taking me along this morning!

  7. Both Leslie Gerein and Jill Homer have hiked / run here, fuelling my desire to visit. As you have read, I was not disappointed.

  8. What beauty you experienced! I'm glad you found someone to take your photo in that lovely setting.

  9. Again such spectacular views. You wouldn't want to stray off the paths though as the ground looks rather unstable! Beautiful collage of flowers. Have a wonderful weekend from a windy UK!