Day Five in the Mountain

Dantercepies, Selva Val Gardena, Italy

30th June 2016, 11.05am

Standing on the plains, hoary wisps float about, almost solid enough to touch.cold bites in and a cafe offers welcome refuge.

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We are surrounded by white. Varying shades push in at the glass windows. Clouds shift, revealing a mass of craggy mountain peaks.  A stout little marmot sits on a rock, only a little bigger than him. snow finch and alpine chuff sweep in and out sight, black wings stark against the grey and white

There’s a strange kind of peace about me as Monty Pythons Always Look on the Bright Side of Life plays overhead and a fine cup of hot chocolate warms me.

Pizzeria Sal Feur, Selva Val Gardena, Italy

30th June 2016, 11.05am

After wandering the winding streets of Selva looking for an open  pizzeria, Tom and I went back to the hotel and googled it. I am now sipping on a Hugo cocktail at a fantastic restaurant, having thoroughly stuffed ourselves with huge pizzas.

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Day Four: In Which I Recover From Sunburn

I’ve been feeling pretty dreadful recently. This is my escape to the mountains, day four.

Hotel Armin, Selva Val Gardena,Italy

29th June 2016, 12.50pm

I only left the hotel an hour ago. Yesterday was incredible, but tiring. We managed to spot some edelweiss. They are a strange flower.  A group of german walkers were delighted when my father-in-law pointed them out. I’ve been practising my german, to varying degrees of success, I think this group possibly understood about a third of what I said.

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I am burnt to a crisp, my nose is bright red,my arms tender  and swollen. It turns out I should have taken my pilates instructors advice when she told me to get my hip checked out. After a painful day yesterday I ended up not being able to walk down stairs without swearing. I slipped a disk a few years back and ended up with sciatica along my left leg. I think over the years I compensated my right leg and managed to mess up my hip. This became apparent whilst half way down a very steep descent, my hip gave up on me.  Whilst trying not to put any weight on my hip I put way to much pressure on my knee. The  end result was that I was unable to walk down a flight of stairs without muttering profanities.

Tom and I spent a little time in the spa yesterday. He took a little bit of convincing but I think he had a nice time. This morning I was feeling too rotten to go down for breakfast. The lovely staff at the hotel prepared me a pretty breakfast tray with two croissants and a cup of tea.

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We had a wonder about the town and picked up snacks from one of the bakeries.  I borrowed one of Tom’s shirts to keep my arms protected. We’re now sitting on the balcony tucking into Apfelstrudel. 

Day Three: Mount Seceda

It is taking me some time to get my musings up online. However, I am very much enjoying dipping back into the past. I can almost breathe the fresh mountain air.

Mount Seceda, The Dolomites

28th June 2016, 11.42am

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Sitting at  ten thousand feet on the peak of mount Seceda, I understand what craggy means. Looking across unending, snowcapped mountains, it’s easy to  imagine I’m in a different world.  We’re about the walk the plains, to try and spot some edelweiss. Alpine choughs and snow finch dive about the mountain top. A handsome redstart perches on a rock just below.

 

Mount Seceda, The Dolomites

28th June 2016, 1.15pm

Just stopped at a little cafe after walking through flower-strewn mountains. The great flat-topped mountain, so often surrounded by clouds, stands behind. To my left are rolling hills covered with buttercups and globe flowers, peppered with ash grey rocks. amongst the sea of yellow sits A wooden hut with a tiny chimney extending out of a tiled roof.

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Ahead of me a donkey and her foal munch on the grass and flowers. Behind their  grassy mound looms a rock face of  mottled burnt orange and grey.  To my right, past  a great sharks fin of a rock, reside a  semi-circle of dust grey mountains about a deep basin.  Standing watch over long forgotten glacier.

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Day Two in The Mountains

Hotel Armin, Selva Val Gardena

27th June 2016, 11.55pm

The problem with describing mountains is, I have very little context. Mountains of this scale should be far in the distance. Looking to my left, from the hotel balcony, a huge craggy mountain stands proud. The flat top looks no higher than a sky scrapper. I’m told it’s 3,000 feet above me. Yesterday we took the cable car to the top of that same mountain, then walked our winding way across and eventually back to Selva.

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Cowbells rang all about the mountains, Two floppy eared cows lay content on a grassy rise, being washed dutifully by their mother. Fir trees line the pale rock, deep green against grey. Pretty purple orchids, daisy’s and innumerable other wildflowers brighten the fields.

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I lost my footing more than once. Steep pathways made all the more trechourous by fine gravel. I lost my footing more than once. Steep pathways made all the more trechourous by fine gravel. Take small footsteps with knees bent and the weight on the balls of your feet. If all else fails zig zag or side step.

Hotel Armin, Selva Val Gardena

27th June 2016, 5.27pm

The spa here is devine. Laying on a chair after the steam bath, I am a roman goddess, with nothing but a towel to cover me. I shower in a spray of mint scented mist, then warm my feet on  stones bathed in  fiery hot water.

Today we walked the fifteen stations of the cross, a pathway lined with eairy wooden carvings of the ressurection. The ruins of a castle clung to the mountainside, the rock eating away at the old imposter.

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After around half an hour of walking we came across the valley. Fine trickles of water fall from hills into a shallow stream, transparent save for white crests atop stones. the tiny streams run steeply, branches causing dams and diveritng their pathways. Long grass is pale and pressed by the waters breaking thier banks.  A small chapel stands a little distance from the waters, waxen frescos and bold, perhaps garish, statues adorn the brick building, tucked safely behind crisscrossed bars.

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Earlier we walked through a meadow of wildflowers. Barabra knew most of them, and those she didn’t we soon looked up in her little flower book. The meadow stretches far ahead, stopping in a steep valley to let the stream pass. The mountains rise behind the fields in stark contrasts to the delicate flowers.

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At this moment, i am in the hotel room, legs propped up on the desk, wearing my denim dress. I change outfits about three times a day. Breakfast, casual wear, then into walking clothes (B. just got brought me a new shirt to keep the sun off my neck). After walking it’s time for tea and cake at the hotel from 3.00. Then, strip off the sweaty clothes and sink into a bath, or take a trip to the spa as I did today.  After that it’s only right to dress for dinner at 7.15. Five courses and a nice glass if wine. It’s getting late now. I need to pack my bag, we’re moving rooms tomorrow, it’s away from the road at the back. The staff here are delightful.

Today I wrote: 800 words

A Bit of Observational Writing

Writing up my notes from Italy brought me straight back there. My father in law is already looking at booking for next year. I can’t wait. Here’s the first day of notes from Italy.

Hotel Armin, Selva Val Gardena

 26th January 2016, 11.00 am

Rain pours down in sheets.We’re sitting in the hotel bar, maps strewn across the table amongst cups of tea and coffee. Lightening flashes, followed quickly by thunder. Two families wait near the door. One with a girl no more than six,  dressed in a bright red poncho trimmed with checks of black and white. They’ve just left, undeterred by the downfall…wait they’re back. It was a short-lived enterprise.

The other family have a little girl named Sophia. She looks around three and is less than impressed at the fact she is not allowed outside. Wide eyed she stares out at the rain as though she’s missing out on some great adventure…ok, she has been given a set of keys now and seems much happier. Ah the first family are off again

Ah the first family are off again, I hope they last longer this time.

The bar is softly lit, huge lamps with gold and blue stands, spotlights and delicate crystal chandeliers adorn the dark wooden ceiling. I am drinking from a pretty floral cup,green tea with a slice of lemon. The others have uniform white coffee cups with tiny gold wrapped coffee chocolates.

Sophia is trotting about happily now, circling her mother around a huge woodburning stove. There’s an oak bench attached, adorned with a dark turquoise cushion with gold triangles. the downstairs is all the same theme, the curtains, the upholstery, the table clothes and the lamps.

I’m in my room. The rain persists but less urgently now. Folk walk back and forth, hoods up and heads down. The mountains are half hidden behind clouds. fir trees stand to attention, soaking up the moister. Time for a rest, wrapped up in a soft white blanket.

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Hotel Armin, Selva Val Gardena

 26th January 2016, 4.10 pm

Back in the hotel room after a fantastic walk. We saw the little girl, sans poncho, having a picnic with her family at the top of the mountains. Absolutely exhauted. will describe the walk when I have energy.

 

Today’s word count: 973 (561 for my other blog, and the rest for this one – it totally counts for typing up bits!)

Yesterday’s word count: 185 (I wrote the bare bones of a scene set in the mountains)

Inspiration From The Mountains

I’ve been inspired by the, quite frankly , Inspirational Dolomites. I spent a week in exuberant luxury,walking about the mountains and lounging in the hotel spa. Tea and cake served each day at three, then a five-course meal at quarter past seven. fifteen minutes after the spa closes. I cannot forget the Aperitifs, my favourite was the Hugo, pronounced Ugo. made up of Prosseco, Elderflower and soda water, all served with fresh mint and a slice of lemon.

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I wrote every day, pulling out my notebook whenever we stopped for a hot chocolate or just to admire the view. It’s my plan to write it up here, alongside my musings are numerous plot and character developments for my novel.  If you are ever feeling uninspired then I highly recommend a trip to northern Italy, preferably to stay at Hotel Armin in Selva Val Gardena.

It’s just a short post today with a promise that more will come. In the meantime admire the beauty of the Dolomites…and perhaps check out my other blog.

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Today’s Word Count: 706