Saturday 21 July 2007
Yet another wonderfully cloudless morning in the Dolomites! (That trip diary may be digitised at some future date.) Gary and Jenny packed to return to Venice and their flight home. Julia was walking, to fly back from Venice tomorrow, and we were packing for our hut to hut backpack.
The other three left, leaving us with gear resembling a car boot sale! And it was getting hotter all the time.
Eventually, we departed from our second home - the campsite at Colfosco - after another good week in the Dolomites, at 10am.
The journey was a slow but scenic one. First, to Dobbiaco, then east into Austria and green valleys. At Lienz, we headed north, avoiding the traffic queue through the centre.
The road climbed as the last one had descended. A river in the valley clearly provided opportunities for kayaking and rafting. At Mittelsee, another turn, and some smaller, twisty roads before we joined the main road again.
Stopped for lunch at Gasthof Neuhof, just off the main road. The wait, in the shade of a large umbrella, was worthwhile and we enjoyed nice salads, hitting the road again at 1.50pm.
Finally, a left turn into Mayrhofen, and a long queue. It was 3pm by now and we needed to get the cable car up to walk to the first hut!
The heavy traffic was due to some event in town, but, in the heat, we arranged to leave the car at the cable car station, and went to find a weather forecast.
The Tourist Information eluded us, but was finally discovered below the church, near Europahotel.
The forecast was acceptable for our plans, so we bought tickets for the cable car and were soon whisked out of the valley on the Ahornbahn cable car, from which the top view is pictured, leaving fields of cars and spreading campsites far below us. It was a relief, 6½ minutes later, to emerge to cooler air.
The path was nicely graded, and the slopes displayed flowers of blue and lilac shades. It took just 50 minutes (guide time 1.5 hours) to reach the Edel Hütte (2288m), and our bed for the night.
On the way we passed this rubbish cairn. In 2008 we met one of its originators in Scotland and we have enjoyed frequent encounters with him ever since!
We share a room for 6, but have a nicely dark corner. A beer on the balcony goes down well, then we move into the cosy, sunlit dining room, as the cool breeze gets the better of us. We aren't sure of the dining arrangements/etiquette, but we order 'Bergsteineressen' for two, and we enjoy potatoes, ham and egg, with beans in vinaigrette.
Text messages from Mother and from Gary, now back at home, confirm that the UK is still blighted with rain.
So, that was Sue’s diary entry for 21 July 2007. Here’s the route we took – about 4 km with 400 metres ascent. A gentle start to a lovely route.