The mountains are silent teachers, and they teach us noble qualities: humility in the face of nature, modesty, courage, privation, and strength of will — Hermann Buhl.
Trentino Alto Adige, 18 February 2017After many years i decided to finally go back on the snow of the Alps.
There is a sense of peace exhaling from the back of those giants. I must remember it from when i was a kid, evading the city with my family to allow us a skiing week on the Alps.
Packing the bags then was quite a routine: my mom would empty the storage boxes hidden in the attic from the previous year, to redeem our heavy jackets and skiing gear.
I remember the smell of naphthalene balls falling from the bends of our sleeves and rolling on the ground.
Packing Jumbo now is different. In the mass consumption era whatever you need, you buy. Things are not meant to last. But i like to be old school so i rather take a peek in those old smelly boxes at my parent's.
All i really needed to do is to take good care of the sleeping garments, because on the mountains is no joke: at night it will freeze. I chose a very warm Italian Military Wool Blanket, a nice gift from the Italian Navy from when i had to serve the Army. Combined with my lightweight pillow-bag, it turned out to be the perfect solution!
So we're ready to hit the road again.
After a two days stop for a job meeting in Florence and a long night at the "Ein Prosit" bar in Bologna for the SUPERBOWL break, we're headed up toward the North East.
This time i am not traveling entirely solo. Margot, my beloved dog is with me and we are giving a ride to a fellow traveler.
"I've never seen the snow, it is my dream to".
That was enough for me to offer her a ride and a sleeping spot in my van to fulfill that dream.
So Lu is part of the trip, a Brazilian friend of mine who a few months ago decided to leave the violence of her mother country to start a new life in Europe.
At JUMBO's pace it would be too stressful to get up there in just one day, plus if we get a diversion from the highway, amazing towns are on our way. Another good reason to drive on country roads.
It's slower but the payback outruns the pain.
Our first stop is in this little town composed by 3 mills, a Church and a bridge.
The parking lot that surrounds the area is bigger than the town itself. Borghetto is a village on the Mincio, a river that flows down calmly from the Garda Lake.
We arrive at dusk, but we can still admire why it is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Valeggio sul Mincio
After a morning walk we are back on our next destination: the Garda Lake.
I heard about a street that is considered the most beautiful one in Italy. That Road that is taking us there is just as stunning. The Garda Lake offers amazing landscapes.
It is a huge, flat spread of cold water guarded by calm giants.
The Garda Lake
Inside a canyon between two mountains the road we were in search for runs up toward the top.
It is a breathtaking ride inside caves, creeks, and glorious views. Here is the "strada della forra" – the road of the canyon – and we are stoked!
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The snowy Alps
The road that takes us up toward the upper side of the Alps rises smoothly through a green valley of vineyards.
Some of the best italians wine come from this area right here. Apples too.
Each bend of the road opens the sight to a new landscape, mile after mile the sky seems bit by different pointy teeth chewing up on the horizon. The Alps.
We go up and up until we reach the snow!
Incredible peace and silence. The mountains are teaching their amazing lesson.
And we are here to listen.
We stop for a little fun in Obereggen to enjoy ski resorts and a nice sled ride with Margot.
Of course we are not going to miss the warm, lovely, delicious food from the lodge.
The trip continues with a cultural stop at the Messner Mountain Museum of Brunico which i strongly recommend. It was interesting, it was intriguing, it totally blew my mind!
There are six Messner Mountain Museums (MMM) in South Tyrol and all of them are a must visit due their architectural structures and the precious content revealed inside by the founder Reinhold Messner. Each pole is museums devoted to an individual theme, stories that derive from man’s encounter with the mountains.
More Infos here: http://www.messner-mountain-museum.it/en
Our journey ends at the Braies Lake where Margot and I go for a nice walk over the frozen lake, with the Dolomites spiky tops surrounding us.
Jumbo climbed the final road like a beast even if the concrete was frozen and full of snow.
Now that i've tested the efficiency of my beloved LT28, i know i can go anywhere, any time of the year, so will soon plan more vanlife travelng in the near future.
But after this roadtrip, i will be gone for seasonal break in the sun, discovering lands i've never visited before.
South East Asia awaits.