Ever since I had seen pictures taken in the Dolomites, it was clear to me that one day I wanted to see those landscapes on my own. Last week, this dream came true. My wife and I spent four days in the Dolomites, two in Toblach and two in St. Christina. Although we had pretty mixed weather, the overall experience was just amazing. We started things off with a classic – Lago di Braies, just a 20 minutes drive from Toblach. Arriving there early spared us the masses and provided nice, soft light illuminating the mountain range close to the lake. Sometimes referred to “Pearl of the Dolomites”, this is clearly one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever visited. Its popularity nowadays is also crazy, you can now book the wooden path to the lake for your own private photo session in advance, for 150 Euro. Still, in the early morning hours the view is hard to beat.
Next stop for us was Tre Cime di Lavaredo, famous mountain peaks in the Sexten Dolomites. Doing the three-hour hike around those distinctive peaks in this barren landscape surely was one of the highlights for me. The hike starts at Rifugio Auronzo, to which to get to there is a 30 Euro toll to be paid – but the hike was absolutely worth it. We had great weather and although the Tre Cime hut was not open yet, I loved being out and about in this characteristic landscape. Due to the weather change at the end of our hike, we couldn’t make it to the Cadini Group (which I had planned to see as well), but you could see it from distance and this is one to keep on the list for the next Dolomites trip for sure.
Another day, we went up to Seceda, famous, 2,500 meter high mountain near Val Gardena. That mountain offers one of the most characteristic ridges I’ve ever seen. To experience it by sunrise or sunset, you would have to start your hike very early or camp at the place – we went for the first cable car in the morning instead. After breathing in the place for some time, we did the three hour hike around the Seceda plateau – highly recommended, beautiful landscape all around.
Last spot for that day was Alpe di Siusi, largest high-altitude Alpine meadow. I wasn’t sure if that would be a good spot for sunset, since most famous pictures from here were taken by sunrise. And I’ll have to admit, sunrise light probably provides the better conditions for this location than sunset. We encountered pretty harsh sunset light on the Geisler mountain range, while the foreground was very dark in the shadows already. So, for the next trip, sunrise it is – still, the place is very beautiful and one could wander around there for hours.
So, should you ever think about going to the Dolomites: Do it! The hiking options are great, the landscape is not only beautiful but also diversified, and – they got Italien food. So if you’re into outdoors (and photography, anyway), this is one of the places to be. For us, it definitely was not the last time.