The Italian Alps - The Dolomites

Aching for some warmer temperatures (we left Hamburg on Sunday 3 November), we just drove all the way through to Italy. Our journey down the South did involve two lovely overnight stopovers in two small beautiful medieval towns in Germany; Bad Salzdetfurth (on Rd 243) and Goslar (scroll down a little to read reviews of both aires), where we filled up our empty gas bottle at Farhman & Sons (Marketstrasse 35) for only 10 Euros! 

Our last leg involved driving through Austria. Somehow I hadn't really thought about how the weather would be like, and how high up we would be. Jamie hadn't voiced his concerns either. As we were getting higher and higher up road 108, the road was wet and snow and mist started appearing - not such a good combination when the night's falling! Luckily, not much ice had formed yet, but with just two Michelin Agilis all weather front tyres, Jamie was driving Izzy, our motorhome steadily and slowly up the windy mountain road. After a few hours, we finally stopped for the night in an aire - a car park outside a "gesthaus" (B&B).   

Road 108 in Austria en route to Italy.

Snow's definitely present along the route!

Felbertauern 5.3km road tunnel linking Salzburg with East Tyrol.

After a very foggy start in Austria, we were both happy to finally make it to Italy. It was such a beautiful day driving through amazing landscapes that we set camp early in Moos next door to Sesto, a small and quiet ski resort waiting to be awakened once the season takes off again in December. The aire was a motorhome parking by a river, at the foot of the Three Peaks Natural Park ("Parco Naturale Tre Cime") with an amazing view onto the mountains. We went for a nice walk along the river down to Sesto, explored the village and sat down by the town hall for our well-deserved packed sandwiches.   

The Drava river near the entrance of The Three Peaks Natural Park.

Beautiful landscapes walking along the Drava river to Sesto.

Sesto's cemetery by the church.

We enjoyed our first stopover in the Dolomites so much that we decided to stay for a few more days in the region. We needed showers though so we needed to either find a campsite or an aire with at least water. That's when Sauris Di Sotto came up on Jamie's aire app - only a few miles away, it was listed as having water, electricity, a toilet and shower for free! And that's what we got. Next to a big ham factory, we had the aire for ourselves in Sauris, a beautiful traditional little moutain village. Our water tank filled up and plugged in, we stayed for three nights.

Our short bike ride from Sauris Di Sotto to Sauris Di Sopra and back.

We couldn't miss a stop for a degustation of local cheese and ham at Sauris Di Sopra.

It's now all downhill back to Sauris Di Sotto.

It is once I asked Jamie where we should go next that he first mentioned Venice. I was surprised - I just hadn't expected it at all! I hadn't even realised that we were quite close to it or at least close enough before we'd set off for Tuscany and maybe Pompeii. That's one of the greatest thing about travelling without a mapped out route - you're free to go anywhere; to change your destination on a limp; to visit or meet up with families and friends or even friends of friends; to decide places at the last minute. It is an amazing feeling - a sense of freedom!

Road 52 towards Meduno.

Road 52. Weird fog which only last for a few minutes.

Road 52. By the foot of hiking trail: "Sentiers Ursula Nacel".

Lago Tramonti Dam near Chievolis.

Lago Tramonti.