Dolomite Passes
             (East of Bolzano)

I woke up to a slightly overcast day. I didn't let that deter me. Plenty to see... including this.
It seemed to be some kind of funicular running up from the town to the ?? Very interesting.
As I drove along SS241, I wondered at the small houses perched on the mountainsides. Evidence of roads up were scarce although I knew they must exist.
At times, the SS241 barely had enough room to snake through the multiple mountains.
Again, a strong Tyrol influence to houses, etc.
Chiesetta Nova Levante... the clouds were so low that you couldn't see the Dolomiti in the background. Too bad. I know the mountain shapes in this area are spectacular.
On the other side of the road, buildings nestled into the mountains.
The low clouds were making the road quite wet but you can understand why everything is SOOOO green.
A German and Italian name for the same lake...
... nicely tucked into a forest across the road.
Snow still heavy on the mountains there.
Again, it was too bad the cloud cover was so low. I happen to know that the view behind the lake is spectacular and when the sun is shining, the lake is a turquoise blue.
Rather than cross the road dangerously, there was a tunnel under the road to get back to the shop.
How's this for feeling like you're in Oz?
Carezza al Lago is a ski area and there are several hotels in the town...
... including the Alpenrose Sport Hotel.
You can see that winter or summer...
... this would be a lovely area to visit.
Still clouds...
... but you could pick out SOME mountaintops...
... narrow roads but in great condition.
Vigo di Fassa... just as you turn north onto SS48 (Pozza di Fassa).
Mazzin... evidently you can get Pizza "Non-Stop" there! :)
I continued north on SS48...
... then north onto SS242 to Passo Sella.
Unfortunately, you couldn't see a thing at the pass. It was SOOO cloudy once I got to the top that I couldn't see the road in front of me at all (nor the view).
Waiting for the road to become more visible, I stopped at the restaurant for a bite to eat.
Lovely food and people there!
Once it cleared enough to actually see the road...
... (barely any view), I went down the pass.
Even though there was "barely a view", I still liked it.
This road led me down...
... to this village - Selva di Val Gardena.
Here you can see how parts of the switchback road needed to be reinforced.
Selva di Val Gardena was indeed a "garden" of delight.
The view up was awesome, even with clouds. I imagine it would be even more so with a clear sky.
I wonder if the gold rooster on this tower can be seen while climbing the mountainside.
I liked this fountain in front of one of the local businesses.
This small canal runs alongside the main road.
Just down the road... Santa Cristina Val Gardena.
It seemed to be a ski area, a hiking area at the very least.
I simply HAD to stop at Ortisei/Guggenoi. There were many wooden and some bronze sculptures that I had to get a good look at.
They were very detailed...
... and their surroundings were heavenly.
Across the road.
To give you an idea of how big and...
... how small the sculptures were. This Nativity scene was housed in the wooden box to the right of my bike (see pic above).
Amazing how an elephant can fit right into the Italian countryside!
I think this fellow, holding a working lantern, was my favourite.
Also in Premesa. Isn't this a lovely building/clock tower?
I took the next few pictures from the SS12 after I'd just turned off the SS242 at Comune Di Ponte Gardena/Colma.
Castel Trostburg above Comune Di Ponte Gardena.
I went under the autostrade (see road leading out of tunnel) and across the bridge (background) to get to this side of the river.
When I arrived back in Laives, it was a challenge to find my way back to Hotel Ideal Park. There was a market set up along the main street (Via John Fitzgerald Kennedy) and the hotel's entrance was on it.
I managed to find a few back road routes that led me close to the hotel then I snuck VERY slowly down the street to the hotel. I parked the bike and then went looking at the different wares. I really liked these wooden vehicles (cars included!) and might have bought one if I'd had space in my motorcycle luggage.
The market goods might be similar to those you'd see in Canada with a few exceptions. There are no markets that I know of in Winnipeg which sell live chickens. And no, they didn't seem to be simply for eating... a pet store was selling them so you might assume some people might buy them AS pets.
The candies were colorful...
... as were the fabrics on display.
There were LOTS of leather goods, especially belts.
The bicycle shirt tent was very popular.
You could even buy traditional "Alpine" outfits!!
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