Tag: Corvara

Corvara, Italy and Riding Passes in the Dolomites

Corvara, Italy and Riding Passes in the Dolomites

Well hello, sunshine! What a difference a day makes.

Our Balcony in CorvaraI wish I knew why I am a morning person. I so envy those that can slumber into the late morning. Alas, it isn’t in the cards for me. I’m the first one up at home and seemed to be the first one each day on vacation. I quietly packed up my things, got myself dressed and padded outside on to our chalet balcony. Sunshine. Aaaahhh.

Kenny rousted himself up and we set off for a walk through town in the quiet early morning. We sat for a while watching the cows that dotted the hillside. The valley was completely silent except for the sounds of their bells ringing.

Cows in Corvara Italy

Corvara in a magazineThis was it, this was the place that I glanced at every time I got milk for my coffee out of the fridge, every time I buttered a piece of toast – this place was something my mind latched on to as being a someday for whatever reason. And there we were walking down the street in Corvara.

Some dreams are small. And sometimes you don’t really even know why they leave an indelible mark on you. But, big or small, silly or not – a dream followed is worthwhile.

This day was a little extra special. It was Kenny’s birthday.  Lucky him, he would get to spend the day doing something he loves. Riding his motorcycle through the mountains. That sure beat getting something like say… a new sweater.

Dolomite Mountains along Gardena Pass

The Dolomites had a much more rugged, extreme and vertical look to them than the mountains we’d ridden through up to this point. They had an aggressive starkness about them that I loved.

The passes in this area were spectacular; Campolongo, Gardena, Sella, Pordoi, Falzarego and Valparola. Beautiful road surfaces, the layout of the roads and the scenery made a trifecta of riding perfection.

Falzarego Pass Italy

Dolomites on Campolongo Pass Gardena Pass Falzarego pass sign

Falzarego Pass Italy
It could have been the relief of having a nice sunny day after the rain. It could have been realizing a dream and seeing Corvara with my own eyes. Or, it could have just been that the roads were just that amazing – this group of passes was my favorite.

From Innsbruck to the Dolomites and Corvara, Italy

From Innsbruck to the Dolomites and Corvara, Italy

Oh, Innsbruck. Our time together was too short.

On Wednesday morning, we packed up our circus in no time flat and said goodbye to the city. We were heading back up in to the mountains. Following yet another of my whims, we would be heading towards the town of Corvara, Italy.

Nestled snugly in the shadow of the beautiful Sassongher mountain, Corvara first sneaked into my brain from a photograph I saw in a travel ad. I tore the page out of the magazine and stuck to our refrigerator. I would finally have the chance to see this beautiful little village with my own eyes after looking at it for 6 months in my kitchen.

Steuibenfall in Austria

We left Innsbruck heading west where we stopped off at the Stuibenfall in Umhausen. It is the tallest waterfall in Tyrol Austria and a beautiful sight. The view overlooking the Ötztal valley isn’t too shabby either.

Snow on TimmesljochMotoring on, our route brought us up and over the Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstrasse. Like, Silvretta this roadway also had a toll. When we pulled up to the booths to pay the fee, we could see  misty clouds getting closer the higher we went. Just a few miles in to our ride, the fog thickened.

It was a chilly 4°C. It was the first time I remember seeing any standing snow on the roadway. I had to flip on the heated grips because my hands were starting to sting as the wind whistled through the perforated areas of my vented summer gloves.

Fuzzygalore on Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstrasse

When we pulled off at the summit to see the pass museum, we couldn’t see a blessed thing of the view. We saw nothing but an abyss. The rain started to fall as we descended the mountain. Between the fog and the water on my visor visibility was terrible. I crept along, making my way down through the tunnels and hairpins trying to enjoy the ride.

Timmelsjoch in the rain

Stuibenfall Austria KTM Supermotos on Timmelsjoch Pimmie on Timmelsjoch
Pass Museum on Timmelsjoch Heli's roadside eats Our hotel in Corvara

When we reached the foot of the Timmelsjoch, we continued on to the Jaufenpass in the pouring rain. Between the mixture of cold rain and tar snakes, it turned out to be one of my least favorite passes. When I look at photos of the pass in the sunshine on the web, I can honestly say I don’t remember any of that. I just remember gray.

Jaufenpass in the rain

When we reached the bottom, we pulled off and ate a roadside hamburger. We dried up a little and made a plan to make tracks to Corvara. The cold rain dogged us the rest of the way. Sadly, the rain and fog robbed me of my view of the town below the mountain, but I had high hopes to see it early in the following morning. The sunshine was on it’s way.

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