The Mighty, Mighty Dolomites

Goodbye Greece, Hallo Austria! (we hope)

Jonny and I did the 18 hour ferry ride, NOT with the gorgeous Portuguese students, Maria and Marta. How we failed to ferry with them saddens me. In fact, I felt a slight nausea all 18 hours we cruised up the Adriatic Sea. Jonny didn’t seem as bothered.

However, that was all apart of yesterday. Today, we sleep in back of a butcher shop with that adorable little Austrian woman our friend was so fond of, Giulia! Cute in every way. Except her father has been carving up carcasses with big bloody knives all his life… The old career butcher.  He owned the only butcher shop in the small mountain town.   Talk about an opportunity for the bold! I wonder how much cutlery he actually has… Does he enjoy the sensation of slicing through fresh flesh? Do meat grinders really work the way The Sopranos suggest?

All right! Lets not misuse the imagination here. And all those worries slipped to the far back off my mind, to join the company of linear algebra and Power Ranger nemesis.

We had a mountain to climb. A big one. The Lienz Dolomites, some 9,000 foot snow-capped mountains that presided over the strawberry fields of Austria.   It was story-book.

We’d drive until it was too steep.  A few hours from there, the steepness doubled.  I was amused by the Austrian cows.   There was something special about them.   A different coat, droopier loose skin, a more soul surrendering glare.   These were the only cows that deserve to be depicted on milk cartons!    We must have hiked all day in the open slopes.  The Sound of Music.  At some exhausting hour, we did arrive to a cabin, that was considerably the “top”.   It wasn’t but for now, we’ll play along.  The sun glistened off blankets of snow, which surrounded a deeply ominous blue lake.  The air was warmish but the water was sub-zero. Last week an Aussie went hypothermic on a dare. Apparently, he dared himself.  Aussies.

Sub-zero?  Wouldn’t it be ice?  Don’t argue with Austrians.  J, lay and lift.   Jonny and Joey were averted with boyish curiosities.  Two strapping young lads with an innocent appetite for mischievous fun.   There was higher to climb.   How could we not investigate?   We walked up the snow, and back down to re-route when we ran into impassible conditions.  We stared out and yelled in replies to our own echoes, with the assumption no one near and avalanches out of season.   We free climbed short feats and crossed snow banks towards the nearing peaks.  Alas!  Others climbing in search of the true top.  They had ropes.  And harnesses.  And an actual sense of what they were doing.   We decided them geed, and we were beyond.

We found the perfect place for a picnic!  Clean grey mountain peak, with the snow just beside, perfect for cooling beers.  Our rock was flat, and we’d be able to lay out a blanket to make sandwiches.   We didn’t actually have any picnic supplies, but had we, this would have been ideal.   A view.  Got segna! For Austria’s augustus and regal.   Far above the foliage and flat fields, the tingling rush through the toes as I tried to breath in where I was.  Heights are freakishly exhilarating.  How easily I could tumble to my death, right from my perfect little picnic spot.

We looked down on small airplanes that flew pass.  Let me emphasis that.  We were above the airplanes.   And we hiked here!  We storied and punned, jested and quipped about drinking, women and world domination.  Typical fratty dialogue.  The world slowly turned and the breeze blew.   Nothing but delight in the heart and muse on our simple American boy minds.

You ever see how happily oblivious puppies are?


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