Sunday, June 13, 2010

August 2007 - Alpi di Suisi - Summer Alpine Activities

It didn't take very long to get acquainted with the tiny village of Compasch, and after hiking some of the nearby paths and marveling at the dramatic peaks in the distance, we were anxious to get closer and cover more ground. There are so many many ways to explore the Alpi di Suisi.

We started with horseback riding.

Some of you may not know this, but Casandra is an expert rider.

Casandra would ride this proud young mare on our three-hour journey . . .

across the expansive alpine meadow.

The two of us, though confident in our riding skills (me thanks to summer camp and my sister's tutelage), did not know the countryside or terrain, but our guide, all of 15 years old, seemed to know where she was going.

English grip of the reins, western saddle . . . hmmm. But who am I to question her technique? Maybe it's the Austro-Italian style of riding she learned when I was off taking pictures somewhere.

The meadow, so enormous with endless rolling hills and mountain peaks, is a hugely popular summer destination, and yet the three of us were alone pretty much the whole ride.

I was thrilled to have a western saddle, which provides multiple handles (that my sister insists are not handles) useful for all my twisting and turning required to photograph us and the beautiful scenery.

Here are a few of our favorite shots.

Here's the shot I took just before my horse tripped and fell.

While I was twisting to take that picture, my horse got its foot caught in the wooden gutter that was running parallel to our path and started to fall forward. Casandra said I looked like a cat leaping up and away from my horse. I don't remember jumping off but I do remember landing on my feet several feet away (with my camera in my left hand) and watching my horse fall on its side, get halfway up and fall on its side again. It all happened so fast and was pretty scary. My horse eventually got himself up and the guide checked him out to make sure he wasn't hurt. Despite the seemingly violent fall, he was fine and able to walk back to the stables.

We walked back pretty slowly and so I continued my picture taking. Here's a closeup of those amazing peaks.

That pink speck in the sky on the right side of the picture is a paraglider. Perhaps another day?

Before taking to the sky, we decided to go mountain biking our next day in the alpine meadow.

As we continued our ride, the sky got clearer and clearer.

until it was again that perfect blue sky we marveled at on our first two days in the Alpi di Suisi.

More friendly lounging cows.

And now, paragliding . . .
the feeling of soaring through the air . . .

and the views from way up there . . .

above the mighty Dolomites . . . with the majestic Alps to the north . . .

must be really amazing. Unfortunately, we (I) didn't get to paraglide on this trip. Casandra didn't seem so enthusiastic about it. I'll have to look forward to doing it on our next visit to the Dolomites.

After all the hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking, we decided to spend our last day in the Alpi di Suisi at the spa. Ahhhhhhh . . . the perfect way to recharge for our travels ahead . . .

No comments: