The most beautiful photos taken during our tours in the Dolomites, collected in a photobook
This photobook was born maybe in the darkest period for those, who work in the travel business, like Holimites. In December 2020, we were full of joy and ready for a great winter season, but soon we realized that everything was just an illusion. A wish that, like the flame of a table candle, was slowly fading away. In everything we do, in the tours we organize, we put all our passion and heart to make our guests feel like family, the Holimites family. So you can imagine, how disappointed we were.
We had plenty of time, so we decided to start working on the projects for the future. One of the jobs we had to do was the creation of our catalog for 2022 (all our trips are planned more than one year in advance).
The most important step to do for creating a catalog is the selection of the pictures. We took also the opportunity to reorder them.
Let’s get to work! We reordered the pictures taken over the past 20 years, mostly during our guide tours in the Dolomites. Thanks to our guides, photographers, clients, and friends we have a precious archive with stratospheric photos.
Selecting the pictures “only” to use them for a simple catalog? The answer was NO WAY! We decided to set aside to catalog to focus on something bigger: we gave life to a special photo book of the Dolomites that we want to share with you.
4 months into making
27.000 pictures in our archive
98 selected photos
How did the idea of creating a photo book come about?
In our archive, we found a rich variety of pictures, from the most professional ones to the spontaneous ones or those that remind us of special events. We wanted to give them a particular importance, so we decided to collect the most beautiful and original ones in a photobook.
This book is for us also a resume of the past 20 years and we want to reach all Dolomites lovers. It should be a souvenir for those who have already visited the Dolomites, a first introduction for those who are planning to come here or simply for the dreamers who wish to travel in the Dolomites with their minds.
Do you want to discover the pictures inside?
We send you a copy of the photobook at home, so you can have a look at it and… dream about the Dolomites 🤫 pssst, it’s for free Order it now: www.holimites.com/shop
The situation hasn’t changed at all since last year. Even today, as a year ago, we are locked in the house, or almost. For months the main topic has been one: Coronavirus. Isn’t that boring? There are still so many things one could speak about. That’s exactly what we’re going to do today: we’re going to tell you a little bit about what we, Ladins, are made of, about our habits, our vices and flaws, our customs and our language.
Does it sound good to you? Well, here we go!
Let’s start by telling you how and where this language comes from, yes you read that right, it is a language and not a dialect. We Ladins are really proud of it, and we almost offend ourselves if you call it a dialect. 😉
Ladin is a Rhaeto-Roman language, belonging to the same family as Italian, French, Spanish… It was born in the first century A.D. from the encounter between the Latin of the conquering Romans and the ancient languages spoken by the native Rhaetian and Celtic tribes. Vulgar Latin and Rhaetian language merged, et voilà, Ladin was born. The Ladin language of the past was obviously very different from how we speak it nowadays but as we all know, every spoken language is constantly evolving. The language survived, thanks also to our position and to the limited mobility of the past. The narrow valleys, often surrounded by mountains, did not make it easy to move around, so there was no way to mix with other populations and cultures, and Ladin has solidified and maintained itself over time.
We are about 30,000 Ladins divided into 5 valleys around the Sella Group (Val Badia, Val Gardena, Val di Fassa, Livinallongo, Ampezzo).
Each valley has its own idioms. Sometimes words can be completely different from one valley to another. But among Ladins we understand each other. 😉 The “Grijuns” in Switzerland and the “Friulani” (from Friuli) speak Ladin as well.
Often, people ask us if we speak Ladin among ourselves. Yes, that’s right, with family and friends, at work and wherever possible we speak, think and dream in Ladin. At school it’s a bit different since we have an equal school-system, that means that half of the lessons are held in Italian and the other half in German. We only speak and learn Ladin two hours a week.
You know what Ladins enjoy most? Listening to people who think we don’t understand them and maybe even spit on us. All of a sudden we start speaking in Italian or German to make them understand that we do understand them, that’s what makes it real fun!!
But who are these Ladins really?
Well, we are quite introverted, cold, and distant people, even if we have improved over time. But generally, we are introverted and reserved, we never show too many feelings. This does not mean, however, that we are not kind, friendly, loving, and funny. Hard workers, that’s what we are, once farmers, nowadays hut keepers, hoteliers, and whatever concerns tourism. Growing up multilingual. We speak Ladin, Italian, German and most of us also English. You should know, however, that we do make mistakes and if you pay attention, sometimes you will notice strange words, never heard before. Well, it will be one of those “ladinized” words, because we like to mix up languages, and we often take the first word that comes in our minds! 😅 We are mountain and nature lovers, and we are proud of our homeland.
Ladin people don’t always consider themselves Italians, but certainly not out of malice, simply because we are a little different. We differ in our habits, traditions, culture and obviously in our language. We don’t even consider ourselves Austrians, simply Ladins.
Our favourite dishes are dumplings, “tutres” (fried pancakes filled with spinach or sauerkraut), “cajincì arestis” (half-moon shaped potatoes also fried and filled with spinach or poppy), “cajincì t’ega” ( half-moon shaped ravioli with spinach cooked in water). In short, all dishes that can’t miss in our mom’s kitchens. We obviously eat pizza and spaghetti as well. 😋 Would you like to try one of these Ladins dishes? Perfect, here you will find the video of how to make “cajincí arestis”. Try it, and let us know if you like them! Don’t worry if something went wrong, you will have the possibility to try and learn how to cook some Ladin dishes by choosing our package “The Dolomites foodway”.
By the way, Ladins like to play cards as well, specifically “Batadù” (called “Watten” in German) but also “Mao Mao”, two South Tyrolean games that we won’t even begin to explain, otherwise we’ll never finish.
At village and farmers’ events we wear the Tyrolean dress, the so-called “Dirndl” and the “Lederhose”. For religious festivities we wear the “Tracht”, a traditional and ancient dress of great value.
At village events, it is tradition to make “crafuns”, a kind of fried bread, and since it will soon be Easter we get ready to go and collect eggs from the window of the girls for whom we have a crush. From the number of eggs that we will find in front of the window, we will know if she likes us or not. Another Ladin custom. 😊
During these months of partial lockdown we ventured around the Dolomites discovering new corners and passions.
Humanity is going through quite a dark period. Who would have ever imagined in March that COVID would be with us for almost a year?
We certainly didn’t. Ladins are used to working hard. Thanks to tourism, especially winter tourism, would never have imagined that one day we would be sitting at a table celebrating Christmas and New Year Eve. Well, this year it was just like that, and it must be said that in the midst of the tragedy of it all, we also took some pleasure. We can’t deny it.
Obviously we would have preferred to have you with us, to be able to work to earn our daily bread. Since our hands were tied, we took the opportunity and fed ourselves with positivity, because after all, you have to be optimistic and you have to strive to see a hint of light at the end of this endless tunnel. Otherwise what sense would all this have?
We would like to tell you how we at Holimites have spent these months waiting for the lifts to finally open and for the winter season to begin.
First of all, as already mentioned, everyone had a pleasant Christmas with their families. This hadn’t happened for years, since most of us work or have family members working in the tourism sector who have never been able to take their holidays during the Christmas period. It was a simple but warm Christmas, peaceful and quiet, having lunch or dinner together. For many, it was probably the best and most desired gift.
Nature has given us a dreamy winter, with lots of snow covering our valleys and mountains in white. Lots of sunny days which have given us the opportunity to take advantage of our free time to do some snowshoeing, walking or ski touring in the Dolomites. We enjoyed our Home to the fullest as we have never done before. People rediscovered the infinite beauty of these imposing mountains spending the days outdoors, without thinking to go back to work. We walked new paths, discovering new corners and passions.
Astrid and her husband enjoyed time with their daughters, taking them ice-skating or sledging, making a snowman and biscuits.
Marina, who loves ski touring, did not stop for a second. She took every opportunity to go for a ride, and enjoy every curve of this enchanting snow.
Nadine rediscovered the pleasure of surfing the fresh snow on a board after a hard climb with it on her back.
Susi has taken advantage of this period to do lots of crosscountry skiing and ski touring.
We have strengthened our awareness of how lucky we are to live in this little corner of paradise. Of course, we know that many people are not that lucky. This is why we can’t wait to welcome you back to the Dolomites and let you spend some time surrounded by nature, leaving all thoughts behind. So back in the office, concentrating ourselves on the summer season. Putting together new packages so that they can fit all mountain lovers and give you the opportunity to take a break from all the chaos.
All of us are confident and hopeful that we will soon be able to welcome you again and give you moments of lightheartedness and joy.
Because at the end of the day that is what makes us happy too – to share our mountains with you.
So many coincidences related to the number 5 this year:
5th edition of the #YOLOmites5000
5000 meters of elevation gain
5th September 2020
What else is missing? Maybe the soundtrack for this gravel adventure in the Dolomites. Obviously, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony is perfectly tailored to the event and to the meters of elevation gain that must be covered (ta da da daaaaaaaaaaa):
The high and low sounds of this symphony express the emotions and feelings we experienced during this 125 km long tour on secondary roads in Val Badia. Our route leads us on enchanting gravel roads, through cozy mountain villages, and typical farms.
First movement: Allegro con brio
We start with “Allegro con brio” … with enthusiasm and joy! This is the right way to start every smooth group ride. It’s quite chilly, standing outside and waiting for the start signal. Finally, the time has come: Let’s go! The adrenaline rush is a great help to manage the first climb of 20%.
“Allegro con brio” lasts about 25 km, until we reach the characteristic church of “Santa Berbura” in La Val.
A holy moment: we take a deep breath and continue our musical way.
Second movement: Andante con moto
Don’t worry, no one has a motor-assisted bike! We use pure muscle-power to pedal our gravel bikes forward. The initial “brio” slowly disappears, the “allegro” becomes “andante.” We realize that we should slow down and save energy if we want to reach the finish line.
From now on, the group is trying to keep a steady tempo, in order to get soon to the well-deserved lunch.
Third movement: Scherzo. Allegro
The Italian word “Scherzo” means joke! A fast-moving humorous ride starts with a 20% climb. The orchestra conductor directs the cyclists in a zig-zag rhythm, in order to create a classical music performance.
This is the moment when some of us may think about quitting and taking a shortcut. Only a quick look at the panorama around us make us think positively again and let us forget the effort. You look for your cycling friend’s support, and together you keep going.
Fourth movement: Allegro
Someone might think that the last movement of the symphony is represented by returning to the starting place. This is not the case at the #YOLOmites5000. The “Allegro” (= cheerful) starts at the beginning of today’s last climb. By now, after conquering 4300 meters of elevation gain, no one thinks about quitting at this point. Everyone collects all his motivation and as a big orchestra, we keep going and play festive tones. Finally, we reach the top of the last hill. Even if at this stage we are all thinking: “who made me do it” and “never again”, we know, we will come back for sure.
The concert is over and we go back home with sounds and rhythms in our heads. An adventure that no one will ever forget, and who will bring us together again to cycle on the Dolomites gravel roads.
Spruce Syrup: The healing power of the Dolomite herbs
Dolomite herbs: Spruce (Picea abies) syrup is a traditional, natural remedy. It helps again colds, bronchitis, phlegm and sore throat. The spruce tips contain lots of essential oils, resins, tannins and vitamin C. This syrup, thanks to its expectorant property, helps to free the respiratory tract from the accumulation of mucus.
Spruce tips are harvested in spring, as soon as the ends are light-colored. Therefore it is recommended to pick the tips when the moon is waxing, as a result, the strength of the plant is concentrated in the branches and needles.
200g spruce tips
400g cane sugar
Wash the spruce tips and let them drain. Arrange a first layer of tips inside the preserving jar and cover the layer with cane sugar. The tip layer should be thicker as the sugar layer. Proceed in this way until the tips are finished, ending with a generous layer of sugar. Close the jar and leave it in a sunny place. As soon as the spruce tips turn brown and the syrup has settled, it is ready (generally takes 3-4 weeks). Filter the syrup and pour it into a jar. Store the finished syrup in a cool, dark place. The valuable essential oils and vitamins are well preserved in the spruce syrup and can thus be administered in autumn / winter.
Recommended dosage: 1 tbsp 3 to 4 times a day
Alternative: Honey can also be used instead of sugar. You can also add primroses or thyme to the spruce syrup. The flowers are said to help the spruce heal the lungs from a cold.
During the trekking “The Dolomites foodway” you will discover the aromatic herbs and flavors of the Dolomites. So take a look if you are interested to learn more about it.