Monday, December 6, 2010

Back to Brunek

It has been a little while since I have written, and since I don't have internet here, I don't really know where I left off. I am going to start on thursday of last week.

It was Jakob's birthday this weekend, and I knew we had plans to go to Brunek. I though we were going up there on friday, but it turns out that was not the plan at all. Thursday morning I learned that we were heading out at noon that day.

I left school a litte early and got back to the apartment at around noon. We left shortly after, Jakob's mother driving down to pick us up. Once in the car, we picked up a friend of theirs in Verona, and headed to the highway.

Once on the highway, I knew that last time we had changed highways where the signs pointed to the airport. As we approached the exit, still three lanes over, we were making no motions to get into the correct lane.
I asked Jake if we were taking the same way as we had before, and he said yes. I asked why we had not taken the exit, and he said it was still up ahead.

About 45 minutes later, still on the same highway, it finally became apparent that I was right, and in fact, instead of heading north, we were heading west, a good chunck of the distance to Milano already behind us.

We got off the highway, made a bunch of circles and finally ended up back on the highway, retracing our steps. Instead of going all the way back to Verona, we took the exit to go to Lago di Garda, and joined up with the correct highway there, after circling a round about a few times trying to figure out which was the correct path.

As soon as we got into the mountains, there was snow on the ground. A couple hours of driving later, we arrived in Brunek.

While we waited for Jakes mom to get some groceries, we all had hot wine, a local tradition. It is very tasty. Red wine with orange, and cinnamon, all steaming hot.

The town had put up all the lights and it looked truly wonderful.

Eventually, we ended up a the house, 35 minutes outside the Brunek. There was almost half a meter of snow on the ground.

Dinner was prepared, and eventually we went to sleep. A very nice and quiet sleep.

In the morning, after breakfast, we piled into the car and headed off to town. The two cars we took both need to go to the shop, so Jake and I dropped ours off at one of the mechanics and walked to the town center.

I only had running shoes, not very good for snow, so We went to the Timberland store and got some real boots. In Brunek, they are the shoe that everyone wears. When I say everyone, I actually mean everyone. At one point this weekend, there were twelve of us and every single person was wearing the same kind of shoes. They are so comfortable, warm, waterproof, and indestructable that they are definatly worth the cost.

From there, after a coffee, we got picked up and were on the road to Antermoia. They have another little house there, and the next night were were going to be having the birthday party there, so we wanted to make sure everything was in order.

Now, I have seen a lot of roads in my time, and some of them have been pretty hairy, especially in Mexico, but the road we took to Antermoia tops them all and then some. At less than a lane and a half wide with the snow, the road goes up up up with switchback after switcback. It is so steep, and the corners so sharp that it is necessary to take up the whole road to get around them.

It was crazy, but also amazingly beautiful.

Before the climbing starts, there are a series of tunnels that over a distance of 6 kilometers add up to 4.8 kilometers.

Then the road goes up.

The speed at which they drive along it is frightening.

There are little towns all along it, perched in unexpected places amidst the steep slopes.

We finally arrived in Antermoia, and made our way to the house. The deck looks out over a ski area, and the town, then the beautiful mountains.

Ping Pong anyone???

After a hearty lunch of traditional food, we headed home for a relaxing second half of the day. I decided to stay in when the others went out that night, and I had another amazing sleep in the alps.

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