A stressful drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo

I ate a quick breakfast and was on the road by 9:30am, since I was concerned about road conditions and the trip was estimated to take three and a half hours. I used the chains to get off the mountain and thankfully the roads were in good condition in the valley. From there the driving was good through Bolzano as the road turned north and I left the autobahn. Conditions remained good and my only concern was the last 40km up the mountain to the ski town. Reaching the turn in Toblach I pulled into a gas station and chained up. With a limit of 50 kph I needed to pull over often to let cars pass, but it was a comfortable drive and I was happy to take my time as the scenery was beautiful with a long stretch paralleled by nordic ski trails. An hour or so later I pulled into town. Whew.

First stop was at the ski rental, where I picked up some great advice on where to ski and which highlights I needed to make sure to see. The rental office wasn’t available for another 45 minutes so off I went to walk around town. Right when they opened at 3:00pm, I picked up my skis and rushed to my hotel to check in and get a quick ski before the lifts closed at 4:30pm. The logistics of skiing this resort are daunting so it was good to have some time to figure out the layout a bit. All told I hit seven lifts (they were short) for 3,700 feet of vertical.

I had reserved a spot for dinner at the hotel, so when returning the sauna key (private sauna here) I was surprised to be told that they no longer had room for me. WTF. So after a shower, I drove back into town and to restaurant Al Camin. Unfortunately they were full but suggest I try back Tuesday (still fully booked but they get cancellations). Another search and restaurant Amadeus came up so off I went. It was a good thing I had chains as this was up a steep snow covered local road. The food was seafood in the Venetian style, while quite pricy (and a bit fancy for my liking) I really enjoyed everything. Then 7km back up to my hotel to call it a night.

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