Nobody pinch me, because I don't want to wake up from this dream!
|The name of our apartment|
Speaking of waking up, I woke up early. That never happens. But I just couldn't get back to sleep knowing what was in store for me when I pulled up the shutters. Our first look at St. Magdalena, Italy in the daylight. We are in the Alps and the specific mountain range we are nestled in is called the Dolomites.
|From the living/dining room window, with a ski slope straight ahead|
|From our bedroom window, the girls' bedroom view is similar.|
|Went on the balcony and got a surprise! Look over there!|
|That is it: Pension Sonia, our apartment rental.|
|This is a big farming area. We saw many old barns like this.|
|Seriously? A stream and tiny waterfall? The mountains weren't enough? Wow!|
|Crystal clear water|
|I could never get sick of those peaks. Ever.|
|What was going through my head all weekend: God is huge. And good.|
|Fresh Semmel (rolls), Brezeln (pretzels) and Krapfen donuts. Plus a Laugencroissant which is a croissant with a pretzel outer shell. Everything was delicious!|
|Brad playing the guitar while watching the slopes|
|Kind of hard to see the skiers in the pic, but they were there! Funny how tame it looks in the pic. The right hand one looks straight down in person!|
|Once the sun came out, the view from our bedroom showed another mountain.|
|That sun warmed everything up!|
We asked Konrad for suggestions on what we should do. Since we aren't skiers (not all of us, anyway) he suggested a little town about 20 minutes away called Brixen (German) or Bressanone (Italian). So off we went!
Are you ready for this? This town, Brixen, was founded in 901. 901. My brain cannot comprehend this. Anyway, get over it, Lori! Europe is old!!
I know I've said this about every little town and village I've seen, but I swear this is the most beautiful city I have ever seen! I must have said that 100 times today! The buildings and architecture are of course beautiful. We went to the Altstadt (Old city) which was super cool. Many cities over here have an Altstadt. It is the old part of the city and very often it will be a pedestrian only zone. (Just a guess here, but that could be because a car would never fit on these narrow streets!)
|Narrow, charming little alley way with shops|
|And of course we are tucked away in the mountains on top of it all!!|
|I want to go in and up those stairs!|
|Up on the corner of a building|
|I was in awe. All day.|
|I want to live in one of these upstairs apartments.|
|Lainie admiring the town, Daddy admiring Lea|
|The White Tower, from the 15th century. Part of St. Michael's church.|
|The ceiling of a shop entrance|
We went inside the white tower because the door was open. Little did we know there was a group tour going on that we were apparently not welcome to join! More on that in a minute. It is a tiny museum as you walk up the stairs. The first floor had this crazy giant ball that you could climb in. Why? I don't know, but for Lainie's whole life, if there is a thing to climb inside of, she will do it.
|I'm fairly certain that blue plastic thing is not from the 15th century. What a rip off. (Ha ha, just kidding!)|
|Like I would EVER climb up in there!!|
|Still recovering from the "Schnell Incident."|
|Fountain without a crazy Canadian at it's feet|
|The edge of the Altstadt, by a pretty canal|
|I love those people!|
|A little empty now, eh? Yeah, this is a fascinating European tradition of closing everything from 12:30 to 3. Seriously.|
|Entrance to a courtyard between the 2 cathedrals|
|Brad in the courtyard|
|A war memorial to all soldiers lost from Brixen in WWI and WWII|
|Daddy and daughters, can you feel the love?|
|It said safe to drink, but I wouldn't do it!!|
|Dude on top of the fountain|
Next we came across some wooden dudes.
|This is getting harder to do!|
|You will notice I didn't try it!|
We hung out at the apartment and watched the skiers, then Lainie and Brad walked to the hill to find the sledding. I kept watching for them but they had to go to a different hill that I couldn't see. Still, I was mesmerized watching the slopes.
|Hard to see but this was a race! The people at the bottom were family of the racers. It was cool to watch and we could hear the announcer (although since it was in German, we couldn't understand him!)|
|Saw this on the slopes more than once: baby in a stroller. Also several dogs, running around the kids in the kiddie ski area. I am not a skier, but I don't think this would be common in Michigan!|
|That majestic peak outside of our door|
We left for dinner and went back to last nights' place, Viel Nois. We could tell it was different than last night because of the 8 million cars parked all over the road. Apparently Viel Nois is the only restaurant open right now (which we didn't realize quite yet) and they host the after party for that race we saw. Yay racers! Boo for us. It was packed. You couldn't even walk in the door. So we punched "restaurant" into the GPS. Well, that sucker was messed up. Because it took us up the tiniest road I have ever seen, straight up hill. To nowhere. Keep in mind here, people, that I have lived in Germany now for about 5 weeks. Narrow roads look pretty normal to me now. This was like a very skinny driveway. Up a mountain. In the snow. In the dark. Oy. So it says to keep going for this restaurant, so we keep going. We end up in the most precarious position!! If we go straight, we fall off the mountain. If we turn left, where the road appears to go, we go straight down in front of a church with not an inch of room to turn around, which means backing up the steep hill. In the snow. In the dark. As it stands, we are in front of someone's house. We are wedged in the tightest spot!!! I got out to guide Brad out. Remember in driver's training when you learned a 3 point turn? Well, this was similar, but it was called a 29 point turn. One inch at a time. Forward an inch, turn the wheels, backward an inch. You get the picture. By the way, it is snowing during this, too. And did I mention it's dark? We got out using our excellent teamwork skills. We tried that stinking GPS again to no avail. We went back to ask Konrad what to do!! He called the restaurant and they said they could take us in a half hour. So we went back. There were still a gazillion people there...hot, noisy, kids running around like maniacs. I am not exaggerating. The place has a wood pizza oven that kids were literally climbing on top of. But people were trickling out. So we finally got some dinner!!! Too bad I forgot to take pics. Ha ha, as if!!!!
|Snuggled together because that is the pizza oven behind them, and they were scared of children falling on them.|
|Brad's pasta with lots of garlic, ham and mushrooms|
|Lainie and I shared a huge salad. Corn is common in salads here! I like it. This also had some type of kidney-ish bean and those 2 dumplings. Green was spinach and white was cheesy. They were Knoedels. Delicious!|
|Lea had the same pizza as last night, so I took a picture of her sampling Brad's beer.|
So once again, an amazing, unbelievable day over here! I seriously think this must be a dream. How is it possible that we are having these fabulous experiences? *sigh* We are all so happy :)