We left Glurns to head off into the Dolomites. We stopped off in Bolzano ( or Bozen) to stock the wine and beer fridge with very reasonably priced Italian offerings, plus fill up on diesel. One thing we have noticed is that diesel isn’t particularly cheap, the average we have seen so far in Italy is about €1.50 a litre which isn’t dissimilar to the UK .
Once out of Bolzano we started to climb up to the small village of Tiers. We then followed the SP65 to Lake Karersee (Lago di Carezza). This drive is described in the guide-book as one of the most beautiful in the Dolomites. We agree it is beautiful but also challenging for a fully laden campervan due to the number of cyclists, it can be a real challenge to pass them when speed is not on your side.
Lake Karersee has a large dedicated car park on the opposite side of the road which has a barrier entrance. We were thinking of spending the night there but after checking it out we changed our minds. There were four overnight spots for campers which were just longer regular car park spaces and the cost was €30 for 24hrs or €20 for 12hrs without services which seemed a bit steep when there wasn’t even a nice view, and you were literally on top on one another. We headed a mile or so up the road to the large overflow car park opposite the Paolina chair lift in Karersee and joined a few other campers parked there for free.
We had glimpsed the lake while we checked out the parking and it did look lovely so we decided to walk to it from the ski lift car park. The walk to the lake is well sign-posted and takes about 30 mins. It is well worth the walk as it is beautiful if a bit crowded, it is a popular attraction. From the lake we headed up into the woods and soon lost the crowds to take the long way back, during which we only met one other couple.
After a quiet night we thought we might as well stay another night as it is so pretty and there are so many walking options from the car park. On the second day we thought we would walk up the opposite side of the valley where the chair lift runs. The path pretty much follows the chair lift up to the restaurant at the top. It was a fairly hard slog up for a couple of miles, especially as we could see people on the chair lift taking the easy ride. If it wasn’t for Finn I think we would have taken the chair lift as well. While recovering and having a drink at the top of the chair lift I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw two dogs on the lift. One was quite small but the second was a large Collie sat in the middle seat of the chair lift, just like a human. I must admit it never occurred to us that you would be able to take dogs on the chair lift. Maybe we will have the opportunity to try this out later in the holiday, although I am not totally convinced it would be a smooth operation.
It was the first use of the outdoor shower for Finn when we got back from the walk as he had rolled in something dubious. That is not bad going for him, nearly 3 weeks without requiring a shampoo!
After our walk and the exertion of showering Finn we deserved some refreshment so headed to Pitt Bar which is down a little side road past the Sporthotel Alpenrose. Here we sampled home-made Apple Strudel washed down with local wine and beer. After the strudel we were given shots of flavoured grappa and grappa soaked sugar cubes on the house, It was definitely time for a late afternoon siesta.
Weather – sunny with clouds and cooler evenings
Miles Driven – 83
Miles Walked – 7.2 Day One, 7.5 Day Two
Overnight – Paolina Ski Lift Overflow Car Park for 2 nights at Karersee. Each night we shared the car park with about 10 other vans. 46.406932 11.592697