Sunday, July 6th, 2014
Oh no, time to say goodbye to Verona, this lovely apartment and our breakfast strudel. We went to the bakery one last time, cleaned up the apartment and headed out to the taxi stand at Piazza Erbe. There were a lot of people waiting and no taxis but soon enough a van came. It picked us up and I guess some of those people I thought were sitting on the steps were actually waiting for a taxi so they got a bit upset we got one first but milling around with luggage does make you a more obvious target. We took the taxi to the airport car rental and picked up our little car to go to the Dolomiti. It was a wee bit small for our luggage, but we put one suitcase in between the girls as a barrier and also had the backpacks in the seats with us and it was fine.
We used the phone as our GPS, which worked pretty good, once you got the route set you could turn off data and it still worked. Onto the Autostrada, where the landscape changed quickly from farmland to steep hills. Wow, it’s crazy the way they built those towns up there, just little cleared meadows with a town and castles perched on the hills. We also passed a walled town which may have been Rovereto, something worth exploring should we have had more time. We stopped for a quick lunch at an Autogrill, got the correct turn off the Autostrada in Bolzano and made it to Castelrotto (Kastelruth) a twisty hour or so later. One thing that really surprised us is that we were all of a sudden in Germany. I don’t know how we missed that detail when we were planning, but they really are German there (well, Tyrolian to be exact, but closer to German than Italian). Signs were in German, buildings looked German, restaurants served German food.
We found our hotel, the Aparthotel Kastel Seiser Alm, with no problems. I had worried that it would be a little on the outskirts of town but that’s because I overestimated the scale of the map. Really it was the next street over from the pedestrian area, with a little path to get into the town. The hotel’s Website makes it look all romantic, but really it’s a down to earth nice place for families. There was a really great playground that our big kids even enjoyed, an indoor pool that was really nice, and the apartments were all a good size and well appointed. Definitely a great place to stay, especially in the winter with the skiing, you can tell it’s just perfectly set up for that.
We left the kids to play on the playground while we found an open grocery store and got stuff for breakfast. Then we got the kids and walked around the town which didn’t take long as it’s seriously tiny. I know it’s as old as Verona, etc., but the way they re-stuccoed their buildings and repainted the frescoes made it look much newer. Really it kind of looked like a little fake tourist town.
We were too late to take the chair lift up to the petting zoo, so we took the kids to the pool which they really enjoyed, then Mark and I had a drink on the patio and then we went to dinner. We tried to find this restaurant up on the hill but couldn’t and it turns out it probably was closed anyway so we went to a local pizzeria where the food was German. I ordered the weinersnitzel which is a pounded flat deep fried pork cutlet that tastes pretty much like breaded fried chicken. Why do we have a hot dog chain called Der Weinersnitzel when that’s not at all what a weinersnitzel is? Confusing.
Back to the room kind of late, when it gets dark at 10:00 it’s easy to lose track of time!