Alta Via 1 - Days 10 and 11
We survived our night in the weird hotel. In the morning, we ate the complimentary breakfast, while the owner of the hotel seemed to go and check out our room. There were only two other guests. We were both glad when we could check out and explore the village some more. Due to the hotel's convenient location, it was only an hour-long walk.
We found a cheap store to buy some new clothes. I saw some employees enter an elevator we had just exited, frown in disgust, and almost walk out again because they smelled the odor our clothes had left behind. Even after washing them under the shower several times, they still stank.
Dressed in clean clothes, we took the train to Venice. It was nice to walk around there, but it felt like an amusement park compared to the other town. There were hardly any (local) Italians, and nearly all the buildings had been converted into tourist shops. We had seen enough after a few hours and headed to another hotel.
After the previous hotel, I was curious what Koen had booked this time, but it turned out to be a nice place. The only negative thing was that the people working there didn't seem to care about their customers. We sat opposite from them for half an hour before they were finished talking among themselves and allowed us to check-in.
There was a pool where we took a quick swim. An Israeli guy told us that a huge hailstorm had wrecked his car. We had seen some of that on the news. Northern Italy had suffered several big hail storms in the days prior, and there were videos of hundreds of cars and buildings wrecked by tennis ball-sized hailstones. There were also videos of flooded streets and an airplane that had lost most of its nose cone by flying through the hail. To make matters worse, the European record for the largest hailstone on record had been broken a week ago and then again two days ago (that one was 19 cm in diameter). We, fortunately, had suffered only normal-sized hailstones. We ate dinner and drank a few beers in a nearby restaurant. I was still enjoying how cheap everything was compared to NYC.
We headed back to the airport a bit too early the following day, but this allowed us to have a nice farewell beer at 10 in the morning. Then, we said our goodbyes and took our respective flights back home.
Overall, it had been a great hike through beautiful landscapes. I had feared it would be a bit too easy with all the mountain huts and other hikers. However, we still suffered a good amount due to the elevation gain and poor weather. Although it was certainly a different experience than my more remote hikes, it was nice to have a good meal and an occasional beer. Koen also had a good time and could keep up well, I hope we will go again next year.