Monday, October 19, 2009
I recently just went on a awesome trip to Germany, Austria and Italy. I have always wanted to travel to Europe just for fun and not the stress of competing in skiing. So for me this was a trip of a lifetime. We started in Munich, which is a beautiful city with great churches, lots of farmers markets and of course great beer. We then ventured to the beautiful city of Salzburg and received a great tour from a family friend and stayed with him and his wife a little south of Salzburg out in the country for three nights. We went to some amazing ice caves and just enjoyed time on the farm. The Dolomites were our next stop and definitely the highlight of the trip for me, I can not believe how easy it is to take trains all over europe and it is such a great way to see the countryside. The U.S. really needs a train system. We went to the beautiful town of Cortina, which is a ski town similar to Jackson. I definitely need to go back in the winter and ski, there are some amazing couloirs. We decided to do some Via Ferata, which means the iron way, I never realized how big this was in Europe. The main route we did was the Punta Ana, we started in the village and climbed 7,000 vertical feet up from the valley floor. The route was definitely exposed in spots, which made it very exciting. We did not have correct gear so just used our anchoring device which was connected to our harness an clipped and unclipped as we climbed. The best part about this was being able to take three trams down from the top. These trams were extremely exposed and the views were breathtaking. This area also has great hut system that we also took advantage of, these huts are up in the mountains and have some of the most breathtaking views, hot meals and cold beer. I can not wait to go back and explore more in the dolomites, there is still so much to see. Now I just have to wait for the snow to fall and dream of Europe.