We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We loved this family-friendly hotel in the Dolomites - southern Alps - now part of Italy but Austrian in culture and food. People speak German and at least some Italian, and also Ladin. Mostly Ladin at home, because nobody else in the world speaks it.
This hotel is in the Val Gardena. You get a rental car in Malpensa airport, and drive north almost to the Brenner Pass.
Hiking the Dolomites is on lots of folks' bucket lists. It can range from easy and relaxed to very challenging hiking. You do not have to climb those peaks, although we have a neighbor who climbed each one of them. A good thing is that there are refugios with coffee, beer, snacks, and frische buttermilch every few miles. There are trail maps to sort-of help you from getting too lost, but getting a little lost is part of the fun.
"We turn to a 1938 article looking at Corn Products, which at the time was the world’s biggest corn refinery. A bushel of shelled corn. In the scales it is approximately fifty-six pounds. In the market, currently, it is about sixty cents. Toss it into a feeding trough for little pigs and eventually it is ten
pounds of pork on the hoof.
Ferment and distill it for five gallons of water-clear, throat-scorching corn liquor. Squeeze it and collect a pound and a half of brown corn oil. Grind it and get forty-three pounds of corn meal. Process it one way for thirty-odd pounds of cornstarch; another way for forty pounds of thick corn sirup; yet a third way for twenty-five pounds of dextrose sugar as white and fine as talc. Gather up the leavings for a couple of pounds of oil cake and a dozen of gluten feed and you have about exhausted the possibilities of a single bushel of shelled corn.
There is no connection between this industry and those rather unsatisfactory attempts you read about to manufacture cellulose for paper and power alcohol for motor fuel from cornstalks and cobs."
BD, what is the best time to visit? My wife and I visited Wengen, Switzerland, back in '96 and hiked around the Bernese Oberland in late June. This seems like a similar type place, so we're considering the Dolomites. Thanks for tips. Who do you fly with? cheers chuck
Once I heard a snippet of a radio broadcast in Romansch (allied, sort of, to Ladin) when visiting St. Moritz with a Swiss friend who spoke Swiss-German at home. Amazing the number of obscure languages which survive in that part of Europe among people who speak multiple languages.
When hiking in Switzerland, keep in mind that the Wanderweg signs are in Swiss units of measure. We could never match the times listed. Probably because the Swiss have longer legs or are acclimatized better ;-)