just before christmas my parents asked us what we would want for christmas.i didn’t really have to think hard about that one.i wanted them to come and visit us.this happens not often since 600km are quiete the drive.we soon knew we wanted them to come for an extended weekend to spend with their granddaughters so we could go on a ‘parents/couple – weekend’.our very first one.so the weekend was planned already last year.we just didn’t really know where to go and wanted it to depend on the weather.we knew we wanted to do something active together.something we have been doing together before we had kids.we wanted to decide between rockclimbing/bouldering or skitouring.since the weather forecast didn’t promise sun and warm temperatures our choice went to skitouring.and since i wanted to go to italy at some point this year, my husband suggested to drive into the italian dolomites/south tirol.spectacular mountains, breathtaking nature, the chance to go skitouring up there was bigger than around here and it is only a three hour drive (without kids….which felt then like a one hour drive).
so when my parents arrived we got our vw transporter bus ready and built in our flexible bed (a wooden board my dad constructed for us).we threw in our mattress and bedding, our skitouring equippment (two splitboards) and a cooling box with some food.while driving to the dolomites and listening to music or talking uninterrupted with no kids in the back, i could feel more relaxation coming.the mountains slowly got bigger and bigger, more and more majestic.and we were getting very much excited about our time ahead.
my husband found out, that close to the three peaks dolomites (tre cime di lavaredo), where he was looking up some skitouring options, there was this super cool campground or caravanpark with a huge outdoor/forest sauna option and wood lodges and treehouses to rent, that sounded totally inviting to me and so we spent our first night right there in one of their wooden mobile homes, or lodges.the treehouses were all booked and we were lucky to spontaneously get a lodge for one night. the lodge was gorgeous with all its wood, felt and steal elements.made and equipped with much care.to find fault with something the toilet was really tight, the bed was small and the fact that the other wooden mobile homes are standing really close by, made us think that for us personal a longer stay wouldn’t be an option, also because the price is pretty intense in our eyes.
we ended up there because my health wasn’t the best and a cold hit me.but also, because the weather forecast said that the next day it would mainly be wet and rainy.all in all those facts where not speaking for hiking up a mountain and go ski/splittouring the next day.so no need to get up early.we decided to sleep in and catch up with sleep of a noninterrupted night.and to use the outdoor sauna as much as possible.the sauna was a dream.they had a hay sauna, a finnish sauna of course, a bio sauna and pretty cool earth sauna that reminded me of sitting in my parents teepee/yurt last late summer up in northsweden where we went camping and heated up the little oven in there.the earth sauna was a wooden yurt with an oven/fireplace in the middle which was the only light source,peppermint oil was steaming in there and it felt just perfect for me and my cold.the best was friday night, when we arrived at the caravanpark, ’cause we were almost the only ones using the outdoorsauna.it was fantastic.the trees around us, the birds you could hear while sitting in the hottub/whirlpool or walking from one sauna to the other.it was a special and very cool experience and night.
the next day – grey rainy and cold – we checked out, but still stayed there and used their indoor rockclimbing room (13m routes) and climbed a few routes until they closed for siesta.we went straight back to the outdoorsauna and even fell asleep in their restroom.a pretty relaxed morning and afternoon.
when we really really checked out and left, we equipped ourselfes with some fresh italian food and went to the braies lake (lago di braies).we drove in thick fog and when we got to the lake, i must say, i was pretty blown away by its beauty.wow.it reminded me of lake louise in alberta/canada i once visited years ago.it was already in the evening when we decided to walk around it (it took us an hour or so) and the last people came back from their walk.so we were the last ones walking around it.ohhhh i loved it.soo soo many spectacular views.i loooved how the fog and clouds where hanging in the woods and the mountains.the lake, that was still covered in a thin layer of ice.so so beautiful.definatly worth to walk around there.and also easy with kids.
when we finished our lake walk it was almost dark and we decided to park our vw somewhere and just sleep at a nice remoted quiet place.we found one stop, which is actually a parking space with the view to the three peaks dolomites (tre cime di lavaredo).surrounded with trees and the fog, we parked there and did not see a sign that would tell us that wildcamping is forbidden.so christian took out our little camping gascooker and made fresh gnoccis with very good native italian oliveoil and parmesan.that night we slept like bears.it was actually the best and most comfortable night.in our very own familiar vw.
the next morning we planned to go a ski/splitboard tour, but my healthissue wasn’t any better than before plus the avalanche warning didn’t look ideal.so that morning, while waiting for the bialetti to spit out the espresso, we talked about what we wanna do now instead of skitouring.my man then came up with the idea of driving to venice and to look at the city and stay over there for one night before driving back home.it was another 3 hour drive from where we were…oh my, venice was always on my mind.i haven’t been there yet and always wanted to go.also: without the kids.just us.and thats why i didn’t care that it was also supposed to rain there and it was another drive.i knew i wanted to go and off we were.on our way to venice….but that might be another blogpost
now if you remember the beginning of this post, you probably realize that we actually didn’t do what we wanted to do or were planning to do.no skitouring.but that was fine.and that was something i really enjoyed about our weekend: we just spontaneously decided what felt right for the moment.we didn’t have to think about our daughters and their rhythms and needs.only about ours…we really enjoyed that.and even though we weren’t able to hike up or drive up to the three peaks dolomites (tre cime di lavaredo) because it was closed like some other popular places, i’m glad we visited in the low/off season where the nationalpark wasn’t crowded with tourists and too many people and where we had no problem at all to spontaneously park and sleep somewhere.those are the pleasant sides of being there in the low season.but oh, we need to come back there and want to get closer and higher to the three peaks dolomites and some other high mountains there, that really reminded us at our time in patagonia.the wild spots of the dolomites are so fascinating.wide riverbeds with turquoise blue wild rivers.wolves and brown bears still call it their home.just that fact, that there are wolves and bears and lynxes around in the woods and mountains makes me excited about that area.we’ve fallen in love with south tirol and the dolomites and we’ll be back there for sure…probably in 1,5 weeks.this time with the girls.
for more helpful information have a look at the dolomites local tourism website