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Mike & Katie's Alpine Adventures - Days 7 & 8 (Viva Italia!)

Day 7 (Wednesday 7/19) began bright and early as we hopped on the tour bus and departed Salzburg at 8:30am. The destination for the day? Bolzano Italy, about a 6 hour bus ride away (with stops for a bathroom & lunch break factored in). Along the way, we were amazed by the stunning beauty the Alp countryside provided. Green rolling hills, open meadows laced with wildflowers, jagged mountains as sharp as Katie's wit, and mountain top homes with the stereotypical alpine chalet architecture. As we traveled to Bolzano, we drove through the beautiful city of Innsbruck Austria, home of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.

After arriving in Bolzano and checking into the hotel, Katie and I walked around the charming town and decided to hit the gelato shop right next door. Afterwards we went to the South Tyrol Archeological Museum and checked out the famous exhibit for Otzi the Iceman, a 5000 year old mummy who was discovered in the 1990s buried up in the Tyrolean Alps. What a cool experience that was!

Afterwards, we did a bit of exploring the shopping districts of town and had a nice dinner next to the hotel. Katie had a plate of meat and potatoes, and MIke had a pizza calzone literally as large as his head (and that is LARGE!!).

Day 8 (Thursday 7/20) came early as we got up, had breakfast, and hopped on the bus by 8:30am for the 35 minute ride to the Alpe di Siusi, which is a grassy mountain plateau above the village of Siusi. We spent the day hiking with a couple of fellow tour members, and the scenery was beyond description. Stunning, spectacular....amazing! In order to get to the hiking area, Katie had to stare her fear of heights straight in the eye, and tell that fear to buzz off! She was able to successfully make her way up the mountain in TWO different gondolas. As we hiked the Dolomite range in northern Italy, we were constantly in awe of the picturesque scenery. Along the way, we encountered numerous cows (with their cowbells on), horses and sheep. Near the end of our four hour hike, we stopped on a hilltop to have a nice snack of local sausage, smoked cheese and peppers. Afterwards, we celebrated by having a drink at the bar at the bottom of the mountain with our two fellow hikers. An aperol spritz for Katie, and a pilsner and shot of Jagermeister for Mike (he needed it after hiking for over four hours with three women!!) LOL

From there we took the bus back to the hotel, freshened up, and went across the plaza to a gluten-free pizza restaurant, which also served gluten-free beer! Hooray! Tomorrow, we hop back on the bus and head for our next destination: Fussen Germany in the Bavarian Alps.

That's all for now. Until next time, auf wiedersehen!!