This week’s feature comes from @delahuntyleah who shares with us her recent, spontaneous trip to Italy. A lot of the time spontaneous events are known to be the best type and I think Leah gives us a clear example of this.
An impromptu trip to the Dolomites. Me and my boyfriend Travis had often fantasised about the idea of visiting the Dolomites, but a plan never materialised. Last minute we hopped on sky scanner and searched the dates we were given off work and just typed “everywhere” to see what cheap options came up. With return flights being less than 50 quid to Venice, we confirmed our annual leave for a week. I booked us in for 3/7 nights at a lovely little guesthouse on the mainland and I left us the final four nights to formulate a plan.
Full on gnocchi and Venetian wine we decided this was a perfect time to conjure up the plan for the rest of our time in Italy. We mulled over the idea of Verona or Florence and in shock we realised it was feasible to get to The Dolomites. Solidified with a clink of our glasses, we secured a wonderful chalet with a log burner (my god was that a necessity) £55 per night in San Martino di Castorozza.
San Martino di Catorozza is a vibrant and bustling mountain resort during the height of the ski season. Although the commune itself inhabits around 500 people, we were only acquainted with around 10 different faces in our entire stay. At first we panicked that we would feel isolated and there wouldn’t be much to do, oh boy were we wrong, our biggest, most beautiful adventure awaited us and I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude. There was a supermarket, one bar and a souvenir/outdoor wear shop which were open for just a few hours a day. After the busyness of Venice, the stillness of San Martino was what I was longing for.
Having only three full days in the Dolomites, we decided on an different type of fulfilmnent for each day:
Day 1: A local out & back so that we could explore the area and the most important thing was to find that money shot spot to enjoy my cheese salad sandwich - Malga Crel
Day 2: A ‘proper’ hike, the challenging route Col die Bechi where we walked through a tunnel in the mountain to the most breathtaking vista - Refugio e Crima Rosetta
Day 3: A moderate stomp toward a lago (lake), whether it’s the aim to pitch up on a wild camp spot, a walk end destination or for a cooling quick dip in summer - I am drawn to water - Lago di Calaita
To say our trip was so unplanned and we didn't expect to do any outdoorsy bizniz we made the best of the gear we did take. Travis can attest that his AirMax 95s are the unrivalled hiking shoe and that our locally purchased, designed and produced performance shades from Slokker are top. Oakley who?
The only downside for me personally was being in a location so suitable for our pup Alfie out Working Cocker Spaniel. I had severe dog mum guilt for leaving him at home.
I can confirm the Monday blues hit like no other Monday after this idyllic trip. Whilst going back to reality seemed like the last thing I wanted to do, I reminded myself to be grateful for my reality, as it is this reality that facilitates being able to go on such adventures.
If you're asking yourself, "Should I travel to the Dolomites?" The answer is yes, always.