Hiking in the Dolomites


The next two days, I hiked in the Gherdenacia Massiv. This mountain range is quite different from the Sela Massiv. It consists of a vast plateau of bleached-bone-colored rocks stretching from one side to the other with peaks surrounding the plateau like a crown. Piza de Poez is the highest mountain of the plateau, located pretty much in the center.



Landscape on Passo Gardena, where I started one of my hikes.



In walking up to a higher elevation, I first passed alpine meadows with firs.



Only the low growing mountain firs can survive in an elevation of about 6000 ft. I love the smell and the sturdiness of these special trees.



In order to reach the high plateau, the path leads through interesting rock formations.



For hours, I walked on the high plateau without meeting any other hikers. I loved the solitude without feeling alone.



This interesting mountain reaching up from the plateau had a shape of a volcano. However, the shape of the mountain was created by millions of years of erosion. During my hikes, I often tried to capture my experiences in a haiku.




Millions of years

In the fields of flowing stones

Wind against my face







I did not pass any creeks or waterfalls on the Gherdenacia Massiv but saw every so often short, colorful alpine flowers growing between the flat rocks. This intensive blue flower is called a gentian.







Especially in the lower areas near the lift, one can find benches. This bench was especially inviting, being in company with a very humorous and friendly forest being.




The nicest “Wurzelsepp” (root Sepp) I have met so far




We became friends




Path to the Gardenacia cabin




New stairways built by two workers – all the paths in the Dolomites are very thoughtful made



On both of my plateau hikes, I walked through this valley down to the village of Colfosco. Although I could not see them, I heard the sharp warning sounds of marmots. Sometimes, a flock of jackdaws crossed the sky.




A little chapel dedicated to Mary.



View to the Sela Mountains



Bench in the evening sun




Dark clouds predicting bad weather




It snowed when we left Colfosco and fields of white spoke of heavy snowfall during the night. We were really lucky that the cold weather did not arrive earlier.

Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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