Exploring Alpe di Siusi & the Black Cock

We have been told by everyone we meet, that come 26 Dec, the whole of the Dolomites will be at maximum capacity.   Given that there is no off-piste available and no snow in the forecast, we can only imagine how crowded the slim little strips of snow will get.    So our aim this week has been to travel to some of the more far-flung corners of the Dolomites before the roads and ski slopes get too busy.

Today we were again in the Val Gardena, but this time we drove about an hour to St Ulrich and spent the day in an area called the Alpe di Siusi.

Val Gardena is really the border where the people and language is much more German.   All signs are now first in German and then in Italian, compared to our Arabba side of the Dolomiti.

We thought that we were heading to a colder north facing slope as we headed up in the gondola from St Ulrich. But the gondola took us up to a high and gently sloping plateau 1900 – 2200m.   This is very much a beginner/ intermediate area so the slopes were very gentle. Much of the plateau faced south and west, so we were in the sun for most of the day.   Even the most expert Italian snow makers were obviously having trouble getting the snow to stick!

But there’s so many lifts here, we were able to pretty much do a non-stop anticlockwise ski tour of all the lifts and open slopes.   According to our MyDolomiti App, we managed to ski 26 lifts, 39.5km and 5,340m vertical and stop for a 2 hour lunch in the sun and make it back to St Ulrich by 4pm when the lifts closed.

On the way home we stopped at St Cristina just in time to see the famous village clock do it’s Christmas carolling.

We also stopped into the local Des Spar supermarket to get some supplies and Graeme was entertained with a “wall of wine” while I went about getting the boring stuff like yoghurt and eggs.   So far we’ve really struggled finding wine that we like.   While in Araches we consulted our Anglo/ Italian wine guru – Rick.  We leave the French wine advise to Hubert obviously.

Rick has given us a list of wines to try.  He mentioned something about a “good Chianti” having a black cock marked on the bottle.  So Graeme spent most of this evening’s shopping trip looking for black cock…emblems.   Rick also mentioned a dry white wine called “Soave”.  Best described by us with our limited NZ palates as a cross between Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. It is delicious.  I’m sure even our chardonnay queen, Sue Cowles, would approve.

Tomorrow we are will head into the depths of another valley – the Val di Fassa.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s