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. 

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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