We left the Munich airport Hilton Hotel at 10:00am by bus headed for the town of Bolzano in the Dolomites of Italy. The drive took about five hours including a comfort stop for the toilets and ice cream and coffee. The drive through Innsbruck, Austria, and the Alps were very beautiful. Due to the amount of rain they have received, everything is extremely lush and green in color. Some of the high peaks of the Alps still have snow on them and people are able to ski in some locations all year. The drive took us through many tunnels bored through the Alps to make the drive less winding and more direct. The steep hillsides are terraced with grape vineyards and apples growing. The apples are grown on what I might call a bush more than a tree. They are grown on stakes about five feet tall and not more than thirty inches in diameter. Each bush might have many clusters of apples in colors of red and green.
Our home for the next couple of weeks will be the Hotel Regina located in Oberbozen on the plateau of Renon or Ritten in South Tyrol perched high above the town of Bolzano. The hotel is owned by the Unterhofer family. The hotel has rooms with beautiful mountain views, a heated infinity edged pool and access to miles of hiking trails.
The plateau of Ritten is about 3,000 feet in elevation and consists of 17 villages scattered among vineyards in the valleys to the Alpine highlands.
Once we settled into our new hotel we headed out on a short walk of the small town of Oberbozen. There several historic old homes and inns, small cafes, a historic railway system and the gondola that transports you down the mountain to the town of Bolzano about 2,000 feet below.
Every afternoon from 3-5pm cake and coffee is served in the bar and on the terrace. Dinner is served in the dining room at 7:00pm. The first course tonight was a self-serve salad bar. This was followed by a cheese soufflé like dish, followed by a pancake soup (think crepe rather than breakfast pancake), followed by a main dish of veal roast with a garlic and parsley sauce, potatoes and carrots. This was followed by a dessert of chocolate cake with espresso and caramel ice cream. Everything was very tasty but it was more than we needed to eat.