|From Europe Days 3 and 4, 2009-07-21-22|
I'm not a fan of cities. I can appreciate city life and function for a short bit but I was at the end of my appreciation by the time we left Innsbruck, Austria this morning. The crowds, the heavy European smoking, the noise and the traffic. It was nice to see all that in the rear view mirror this morning when we picked up our rental car in Innsbruck and drove the 2.5 hours to Cortina de Ampezza, Italy.
And now we're very happy. This quaint mountain town is still pretty big in size but it's situated high in the Dolomites and feels full of life. I can't quite put my finger on it but everything about this area feels so much more friendly and appropriate than either Zurich or Innsbruck.
We checked into our hotel, Hotel Impero, and pretty much made a beeline for the Cinque Torri area to get some climbing in. This area is at about 7,400 feet and easily accessible via a five minute ski lift ride and a 10 minute approach hike. It gave us a good opportunity to get warmed up to the limestone of the Dolomites. All the hillsides in the area are a very lush green and rock simply juts out of the hillsides making for some very dramatic mountains.
We plan to spend the next six days around here in the Dolomites with a night or two in a rifugio but most likely mainly doing day trips from hotels in Cortina and/or Canazei.