Dolomites and a great dinner 白云石山脉之行和丰盛的晚餐
04.09.2008 17 °C
We had waited 3 days for the weather to get better, unfortunately on Thursday it was still just so so.
Mostly cloudy and cool, but at least no rain.
So we finally left our cozy hotel, to explore the area by feet and by car.
It took about an hour to reach the Cinque Torre cable-car station.
The cable car brought us in just a few minutes up to a height of about 2000 meters.
Right in front of us were the "Cinque Torre", which means the "five towers".
A restaurant near the cable car station.
Two tourists in front of Cinque Torre.
These pictures show how cloudy it was for most of the day.
About 100 years ago, the dolomites have been the place of some fierce fighting between the Italian and Austrian armies.
At this time Austria-Hungary was still occupying some parts of Italy, with clearly Italian population.
Italy wanted to free these regions and thus attacked Austria despite having agreed to a mutual alliance prior to World War I. Well, they wanted to add the Italian speaking regions to the Italian state, which is understandable.
However, they did not want to stop with the Italian parts, but got greedy and also wanted to add South-Tyrol to their empire, which was clearly inhabited by Austrian (German speaking) people.
The Austrians quickly gave up on most of the Italian regions, but fiercely defended the Tyrolean territory.
Now, 100 years after the fighting, the Italians have made an outdoor museum about those fights.
Here are some trenches which the Italian soldiers have built during World War I.
An Italian command post.
An Italian artillery stance.
The Austrians had similar posts on the mountains across the valley.
That's where the enemy is! (errr, has been )
Soldier on guard.
Can you really discuss war plans with a tourist map and holding the phone like this?
War is ugly - and so were the figures in the museum.
Unfortunately not always very realistic.
We continued our walk through the old military positions.
At some places there were information plates which explained the proceedings of the war.
Actually the Italians could not make much ground at all, but contrary themselves got into serious trouble and close to defeat in 1917.
No Italian soldier ever could put a foot on Tyrolean ground during the war.
However, in 1918 France, England and the USA finally defeated Germany (and also her ally, Austria-Hungary) as we all know. Only thereafter, after the Austrian army had been disarmed, Italian soldiers could finally invade South-Tyrol.
Apparently the Italians liked it here, so they never gave back South-Tyrol to Austria.
This is the reason why in this northern part of Italy most of the people are speaking German and until today they hold on to the Tyrolean culture.
Many of the (South-) Tyroleans don't like the Italians so much, so don't call them "Italians" when you visit there!
We passed by this hut on the back of the Cinque Torre.
A last view of the Cinque Torre, and we went down with the cable-car again.
Unfortunately the views were not so great as expected. I'm sure on a sunny day the whole area will look much nicer and much more impressive.
We continued to drive around with our car. Here you can see Cortina d'Ampezzo, the biggest town in the area.
This is typical for the Dolomites: Sharp, rocky mountains everywhere.
In the afternoon we finally also got some sunshine.
This felt so nice that we immediately stopped for a break to enjoy the sunny views.
Two cats sitting in the grass, watching the cars passing by.
This is the "Marmolada", the highest mountain group of the Dolomites.
It's more than 3300m high, and parts of it are covered by snow and ice all the year.
Unfortunately its top was covered by clouds, so we could only see a little bit of it.
These mountains are called "Rosengarten", which means "rose garden".
Finally we came back to our hotel in the evening, where they served another great dinner.
This day they had many, many different desserts, no chance to try all of them.
Generally, the food was excellent there, but unfortunately this added a lot to our weight!