We had been intrigued by the Dolomite Mountains ever since we first saw the craggy snow-covered peaks from an airplane window shortly after taking off from Venice a few years ago. Subsequent flyovers kept us wondering what those snowy mountains would be like for skiing.
Now the time had arrived to pay that mysterious looking mountain range a visit in person. We flew from Newark to Zurich on Swiss, the national airline of Switzerland and connected on their flight from Zurich to Venice, the closest gateway city to the Val di Fassa ski area in the heart of the Dolomites, not far from the Austrian border. The village of Vigo di Fassa is a three hour van ride over winding mountain roads that become progressively narrower and steeper as we enter further into the Dolomites.
We don't often choose group tours but we decided to join the High Life Ski Club in New Jersey because they were offering an intriguing package including all the van transportation, a week at a 4 star hotel and a weekend in Venice at the end of the trip. All the meals at the hotel were included and the price was right. Getting to a somewhat remote area like Val di Fassa can be complicated and having a driver meet us at the Venice airport was very convenient. So, if you've ever shied away from group travel because you think that it can't be adventurous enough or off the beaten path, you can reconsider by asking yourself these questions:
1. What type of people would choose this trip?
2. Is the area hard enough to get to that traveling on our own would eat up valuable time and money?
3. Are we going for a group activity that would be enhanced by having a compatible group of new friends?
We decided that only people with a love for adventure would want to travel all the way to Italy to ski. We realized that doing the trip on our own would be complicated and expensive. We liked the sound of the "High Life" Ski Club! We're here now and we aren't disappointed. The area is incredible and the 14 other skiers are very friendly. More details will follow in the next couple of blog posts.