AUGUST IN THE DOLOMITES
What a marvellous idea Milton had when, inspired by his friend Vic, he decided to organise an ARPA trip to the Dolomites through an Italian travel company. The result was a great experience and those of us who were part of the first group came away with many wonderful memories and hundreds of photographs.
For me the memories cluster around four main themes, the scenery, the food, music and the people. To describe the scenery I would need to draw on all the superlatives I can muster. The panoramic views of valleys dotted with villages with their church towers or steeples and buildings with colourful window boxes, the alpine meadows and forests and the magnificent mountains, especially the jagged peaks of the Odle Mountains were all just breath taking.
The itinerary seemed to indicate that food and eating would form part of the program and that was certainly true. The quality was excellent but the quantity was at times overwhelming. On a typical day we had a buffet breakfast, morning and sometimes afternoon coffee or hot chocolate, lunch at a mountain rifugio, where the food was as hearty and filling as the itinerary had promised, and then dinner, an antipasto/salad buffet, first and/or second course followed by dessert. Thank goodness for the walking in between!
Wherever we went the people were helpful and friendly but special mention needs to be made of the Italian based leader and his assistant on our trip. They were both very pleasant company and fitted into our group so easily, feeling like friends sharing their love of Italy with us.
A memory that sums up the experience for me is of sitting with the group at a rifugio with a plate of food in front of me, absorbing the views and fresh mountain air while listening to a man playing an accordion and seeing a couple spontaneously break into a dance.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the venture.
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