Chasing “300”

Lifts that is.   With no more significant snowfall in the forecast for our last week in Arabba, we’re going to try and ski as many new lifts as possible.  There’s no way we are going to get to 450 which is allegedly the total number of lifts available on the Dolomiti Superpass.  But we suspect that probably about 30 of those are magic carpets and about 10 or so are access lifts.

We did some homework yesterday while lying on the couch and we discovered that we had missed out on some 18 – 20 lifts in our own little Sellaronda backyard!  Most of the lifts we’d missed were in a corner of Val Gardena which wasn’t open for skiing earlier in the season.   Admittedly, many of them are beginner platters, but Gra is determined to see if we can reach a tally of 300 lifts!   Move over kiddies – a telemarker is loose on your beginner slopes!

We found our first Dolomiti Rope Tow!
We found our first Dolomiti Rope Tow!

We managed to ski 18 new lifts out of the total 37 we rode today during our 42km round trip.   Graeme even found a rope tow to get sentimental about!  We thought that the crowds were going to be horrific as the Arabba carpark was full even at 8:30am. But luckily for us it seems that everyone was heading to the Marmolada and not the Sellaronda circuit where we will be spending most of the day.  And again despite the huge numbers of people, we didn’t wait in a queue once during the day.  Universe Dolomiti is a mind altering place.

We enjoyed a lunch time discussion with another couple of Germans from Hannover.  And as usual they were particularly interested in coming to NZ.  I think that we need to open a NZ travel advisory service.   We had passed this little mountain hut lunch spot many times and we were impressed at how they handled the huge crowds.  Their kitchen was tiny…but I think I found their secret.  They don’t do any dishes!

Aaah the dishes!
Aaah the dishes!

The other noticeable thing about eating in Italian restaurants.  They never rush you.  Once you order a drink or food, that table is yours for as long as you wish to sit there.  Some of the prime outdoor positions for sunning yourself against the wall of the restaurant are held for the whole day by glamorous octogenarians working on their tans and sipping on their Aperol Spritz’s all day.  No-one moves them on.   We often go early because we feel the pressure ourselves, but never has any staff given us our bill quickly or in any way indicated that we should hurry things along.   Actually, getting the bill is another thing.  Sometimes it seems to take forever to come.  If we were that way inclined we could have left without paying so many times.  Of course, there’s an obvious downside to this practice.  But again, it’s all about chilling…relaxing…enjoying the sun, good company and conversation.  It truly is a wonderful aspect to the Italian culture….although we can’t imagine it’s good for business.

Tomorrow we are off to our last planet of Universe Dolomiti – San Martino.  Early start as it’s the equivalent of Pluto – nearly 2 hours drive from Arabba.

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