As it turned out, Hotel Gianzianella in Sottoguda was a good spot for staying a couple of nights. For one thing, the prices outside Cortina d’Ampezzo are better, the Dolomites are close by. Then there are the roads!
The Dolomites – when you’re at the doorstep
in the literal sense of the word. Right across from the hotel the road to Passo Fedaia begins. Further down in the valley other possibilities awaited. During breakfast I considered the options. Quickly realized two days wouldn’t cut it for riding all of the passes.
Then of course, when you ride these roads, you have the directions. What seen in one, might be a vastly different experience when going the other. This was going to prove very true on this day.
Made it up the first part of the ascent along the valley side, made a short stop to capture the valley below.
Material for your bucket list?
I would say, material for anyone’s bucket list. This is an experience everyone should consider, for at least once in a life time. The Italian part of South Tirol, with its respective provinces, offer mountainous nature of a totally different kind. One you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
The Dolomites has its own unique geological properties which, together with nature’s forces, Tectonic movements, time, ages, and weather, has formed the spectacular mountains you find here.
Into Mountainous Wonderland
Anyhow, so there I was, one fine morning with half-decent weather. Heading up the SS641, with no signs (or imminent prospects) of rain showers. Slightly overcast which, temperature-wise, is an advantage when you’re a motorcycle rider. Especially if you’re a motorcycle rider who venture down into South Tirol in mid/late July.
This stretch doesn’t have the sharpest of twists and turns. But, more than exciting enough and a nice way to warm up. The whole entry slowly built things up in an almost multi-dimensional cinematic way.
While heading up and in I did more than once wonder if the whole experience would morph into a shower-on-wheels. Not that I cared the least bit. But the higher up I came, the more it looked like it would go the other way.
Mountains, clouds and sunlight, three key ingredients that contributes to a strong photographic experience.
At the western end of the mountain lake there’s a dam and some touristy stuff I didn’t get into. Stopped for a brief moment, took some more pics and headed down on the other side of the pass.
Down and up again
One thing that makes this such an incredible experience is the different roads, and different scenes. Coming down just outside Canazei, turned right up towards Sella Pass.
And the bubbling ascending experience started over again. Hard to describe but whether car or motorcycle, those who have done this will now.
One thing I have to say again, is how fantastic the BMW R1200GS Adventure is to ride. Even fully packed up it takes corners in an impressive, non-stressful way. Pleasantly “torqy” it pulls you up hills and around corners, with no need for high rpm.
I rode up the last bit to the pass and Sella Towers
Finally made it up to Passo Sella it was time for a little break with coffee 🙂
Shortly after it just got better. Sella Towers on one side, Sassolungo or Langkofel on the other, and in the direction I was heading. There was no question, had to make plenty of stops to get some pics.
Going back and forth
has its photographic advantages. Glad I did so, even if at the time the whole advancement felt a little, or more than a little, ride-wise staccato. But if I hadn’t bothered to do so, there would be less to share. Plus less for myself to enjoy, later.
The scenery, the effects that mother nature can create with mountains, clouds and light changes just is… plainly and simply awesome.
On one of the descents I had to stop and turn around to capture the mountains in brighter sunlight. Fascinating how the colors changes depending on the setting and angle. So here, again….
Down from the pass and the road and views just kept on being the one of a kind experienced I had hoped for. It delivered on absolutely every single account.
The one thing I’ve learned from this expedition is timing. Although being lucky with the weather I think next time I’ll go earlier.
Winding down, back to my valley
I went back and forth quite a few times. Experiencing the roads selected for the day in both directions. Don’t know about you but for me, it gets to a certain point, of contentment. Of being full, of impressions not the least.
Talking about impressions…hmmmm
By now I’d seriously lost count regarding number of twists, turns, ups and downs. As the day ebbed it was time to head down into the valleys again.
Returned to the hotel, some food and drink later darkness fell upon the surroundings. The valley and region has a world heritage ravine worth seeing. Incidentally, I had missed the opening hours and instead had to settle for a little walk in the village.
A couple of digestion miles later it was time to head back. The day after was going to be equally exciting.
Go to: next post (Part 12).