Best of the Dolomites (Italian Alps)
Still trying to comprehend whether or not this place is a figure of my imagination or not. It was as if I was living in a postcard. Days spent taking hikes & being surrounded in the mountains presence - and nights filled laying under the bright lit star sprawled sky next to a campfire. These rugged mountains of Northern Italy will have you speechless and frantically reaching for your camera at every new corner.
Driving to the Dolomites was a last minute decision, and we were lucky enough to convince our good friends to convoy up the mountain with us. We had just left the warm shores of Croatia and still had the suns touch on our skins. We travelled at the beginning of October so we were expecting colder temperatures, but not to the extent to which we experienced. You wouldn't believe the temperature drop from sea level to mountain top of 2000m. We literally, in the space of 4 hours, drove out of summer and into winter. It was the first time we experienced cold for the first time in Europe, and when I say cold I mean snow flakes were falling and snow covered the mountains tops. It was the freshest air that has ever graced my nostrils. In the space of 2 full days we managed to see some of Dolomites most spectacular locations. Starting with the best of all.
Pragsee Wildsee (Lake Braies)
Still to this day my favourite spot in Europe! From the rugged mountain peaks that surround every corner, the old fairytale boat house perched on the shores, the mirror reflection the lake gave of its entire surroundings, & the piercing turquoise colour of the water - the lake was magnificent & bold in every sense.
The lake is super easy to access & offers car parking almost right at the entrance. So no need to hike for hours to visit. If you plan in visiting in the summer expect to share your experience with hundreds of other people (or so I have heard). As we visited in October there was only around 20 other people there with us. The only downfall was the temperature. Be prepared to packs your gloves and beanie.
There is a walking trail that spreads around the entire lake, which usually takes around 1.5 hours to walk. Took us a little longer though, with all the photo opportunities that we were greeted with and all! The reflection of the lake was truly truly amazing. The things I would give to wake up in that boat house with that view every morning. A place to really forget your everyday life & bask in the beauty of the fairytale like settings.
Parking Fee: 5€
Boat rides: 10€
After the excitement and bewilderment of Lake Braies we headed in the direction of Lake Misurina, where we were once again faced with an amazing backdrop of tall rugged mountains and pristine lake reflections. We were lucky enough this day to catch the lake with little to no wind, so I was able to capture the exact photo I had planned.
"Take time to do what makes your soul happy.."
After a very cold night under the stars we awoke ready to hike one of Europe's most unique mountain groups in the Alps - The Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The sky wasn't looking promising this particular morning so our initial plan of hiking from the bottom of the mountain quickly changed. Not that I was complaining, as the drive up was just as spectacular! Bear in mind it costs a hefty 24€ to drive up to the top, but its worth every cent. I promise. 🚌🚐🌲
Once you get to the top it's a fairly easy hike around the peaks. I think we spent a good 3 hours just walking, shooting, chatting and forever admiring the sensational views. I'll forever remember the moment I made my first snow angel under those peaks. We were all laughing in hysterics & mucking around like absolute dorks. We had quite a crowd watching as we lay side by side in this very small, bleak patch of snow, whilst my camera was ticking away on self timer. We must have looked like the biggest tourists getting those cringy ass shots - but those moments are sometimes the best! Not worrying what anyone else is thinking and just being in the moment. I think I speak for all of us when I say it is one of the best hikes you'll ever have the privilege of taking. The peaks are almost too intimating to stand next to. They will make you feel so insignificant in comparison, its unbelievable.
If you want a more of an intimate experience, stear clear of peak season. I hear the hike is rammed with hundreds of people and children. Ugh!
Anyway, here's a short video of our 2 days spent in the Dolomites.. Hope you like it.