BREAKFAST WALK IN FAI DELLA PAGANELLA.
Just look at this hotel! It's where we landed up at dinner time a week ago and where we found our rooms and were greeted, at dinner, by Fausto, the owner and general good egg. But this written introduction to our recent holiday (oh, why did we have to come back?) is about the first full day because it was, in my experience, unique.
The program said we were going for a breakfast walk, followed by a picnic lunch, and Fausto was to take us.
Let me establish that the group we were with was all ages, though there were no children present and the average age was probably sixty something. But that doesn't matter because some young flesh balanced the more elderly amongst us.
The following pictures with their accompanying brief notes tell the story. I hope you enjoy it, and let me say that I cannot recommend the hotel Paganella at Fai Della Paganella in the Italian Dolomites enough, and here's one of the reasons.
We set out through the village, fairly slowly out of courtesy to Derek who rode on his mobility scooter. He's well into his eighties but sprightly in an intelligent and humorous way. In an introduction Fausto, standing in the village and gazing around us, told us a little about the environment, it's height above sea level (1000 metres) and age (the hotel dates to the 1620s)
The village is a rural community and therefore there is plenty of green land around.
There are also farm animals, of course, and inquisitive they were too!
Past the farm we walked along a rural path lined with rocks covered with ferns and lichens, and occupied by nervous lizards.
Looking back, the village looked quiet, almost asleep!
Eventually we arrived at a point from which we could gaze down on the villages and fields below, and it was the kind of view you get from an aircraft flying in a cloudless sky, the houses, buildings, fields and roads all as if they were part of some magnificent toyland.
We eventually returned to the village to rejoin the two or three who, through age or infirmity, had been unable to do the climbing part of the walk (Derek amongst them) where we expected the picnic to be a few sandwiches. But no! We were taken to a playing area with swings and a contraption for swinging from one post to another several metres away along a taut wire (a few of us had a go), and there was. The picnic: succulent and deep pizza accompanied by an indecent amount of red wine! And I, a man who isn't so fond of pizza, loved this one. Maybe it was all that cheese. And all this before noon!
Despite her bad back, Dorothy just had to show me how to swing across the field! And she did it - from side to side!
Â© Peter Rogerson 18/09/11