Today we decided to have an easy day. We arrived at Pordoi Joch after a thrilling bus ride surviving about 300 hairpin turns on a very narrow road with oncoming traffic in abundance. The bus driver deserved high praise for his skill! Pordoi Joch is a very busy place with hotels, restaurants, tour buses, day trippers, cyclists, motorcycles, cable car, a monument to the famous Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi, and a World War I museum.
The World War I museum was most interesting. As it turns out, for the next few days we would be walking along the front between the Austrian and Italian forces during WWI. Now that the Marmolada Glacier, which is just above this area, is receding many artifacts from that time are becoming visible. The glacier was riddled with tunnels during the war and many things were left behind.
This portion of the trail was the busiest that we had encountered thus far. With easy access and fabulous views one could see why.
In each direction was another fabulous view!!
The path followed the contour of the mountain presenting us with show stopping panoramas.
Rifugio Viel dal Pan soon appeared on the side of the mountain. The whole Marmolada range opens up right in front of the rifugio. The name Viel dal Pan (way of the bread) came from the days when this was a route for flour merchants.
And the view from our room…
By 4:00 everyone had left and there were only five other people here for the night. All of our communication was in German…no English spoken here.