Monday 28 February 2011

A Perfect Week in the Dolomites

We did it again! Another winter skiing vacation in the Italian Dolomites is behind us.

It was a week of a clear blue sky, beautiful vistas and excellent skiing. The sun was shining like crazy and only on the last day we saw a couple of small white clouds somewhere on the horizon.

We stayed at our standard apartment we adopted over the years. Civetta has been the area of our choice for some time now and we are still not tired of it.

Nevertheless each year we go check out another nearby ski area. This year we voted for Cortina d'Ampezzo and tried most of the slopes. Cortina is also called "Queen of Dolomites", but I got an impression that this queen is getting a bit old and many "princesses" in the neighborhood are trying hard to take the crown away from her.

Some facilities already seem a bit out of date and it looks like the old glory has faded a little over the years.
Despite all that we had a great time there. Especially those slopes at higher altitudes are truly stunning.

The two photos published in this post are from Civetta ski area.


Thursday 24 February 2011

Visiting Venice Carnival this year?

If you want to see The Venice Carnival in full glory, you might still just make it in time this year. However, you should make a quick last minute reservation. Since most of the accommodations (at least the really good and affordable ones) might be already taken, I suggest you book something in a city nearby. Then you can take as many day trips you want into the Floating city.

Official dates for this year's carnival activities are from the 19th until the 20th of February and from the 26th of February till the 8th of March 2011. For all additional information (in case you don't find it on my blog) visit the official website of the Venice Carnival 2011.

Despite the fact a week ago I was driving practically by the city, this year I decided to skip this event altogether. I wrote about the cities main turn-offs this time of year in this post.
If you didn't click on the suggested link let me just sum it all up in a six letter word: CROWDS.

If for any reason you also won't make it to Venice this year, you might at least scroll through some nice photos I took in this photogenic little city - they may just make you change your mind in the last moment. To open my other posts related to Venice, simply click on the Venice label on the right.


Thursday 13 January 2011

How to choose between Corsica and Sardinia?

For our main summer vacation last year M. and I chose Sardinia. Since we have already been to its closest island neighbour Corsica, we expected to find similar things there. Well... things were quite a bit different but definitely not disappointing.

Since these two islands are literally right next to each other, one would naturally expect similar landscapes. With the exception of its northern part, Sardinia is not very much like its northern neighbour. Sardinia (with the highest peak of 1834 meters) is hardly a match for over 20 mountains higher then 2000 meters on Corsica. If climbing is your thing, I suggest you choose Corsica. For hikers both islands offer more then enough options.

If you are into French cuisine, Corsica is the obvious choice. On the other hand, if you have a sweet spot for many kinds of pasta and excellent pizzas, Sardinia is a better choice.

For doing a round trip on either island, one should consider island size. Corsica is 2.5 times smaller then Sardinia. I guess three weeks are just enough for easily making it around Corsica. We tried to circle Sardinia in such a period of time and it was not such a great idea. We ran out of time and we had to quickly drive through many beautiful areas, completely skipping some of them.

Both islands have many stunning beaches. Sardinia is larger and has more of them. If sandy beaches are the kind you are looking for, Sardinia has more of those to offer. This doesn't mean there aren't any on Corsica. Sandy beaches might not be all that frequent on Corsica, but if you hate getting that fine sand everywhere, you might actually like this fact.

I also got an impression there are more historical sights and museums worth checking out on Sardinia. Corsica has a few museums, lots of menhirs and Genoese towers (mostly closed for public), but all of that can hardly be a match for countless displays of history on Sardinia.

Decisions, decisions, decisions... Corsica vs. Sardinia, nature vs. history, adrenaline vs. leisure, French vs. Italian and so on and on... The choice is yours.
Which ever you choose, you will not be sorry. If you can afford it, visit both. Just remember to take enough time to enjoy the trip and try not to rush from point to point. Keep in mind that things between planned destinations can be well worth your time as well. Actually just those unexpected jewels can be most memorable points of such a trip.

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