What you are missing about Italy (and how to get there)

I found about it with pure chance on instagram. I was browsing in the “discover” mode when its special blue caught me. Then it has stayed it my mind for months…

I googled it, hmmm, 476 km away, 5 hours driving. Shit… so far? Well. Let’s do it when summer arrives. It must be so freaking cold out there. A 2300-meter-high alpine lake, hidden between the gorgeous dolomites in Northern Italy. My favourite escape region in Europe.

The time has come, it’s the moment to open Outdoor Active and see how to hike there. As any Nature-Addict (with capital A), a strange mixed feeling of adrenaline and motivation took me when I saw the way and the altitude profile: 12 km of mountain hike, 770 m elevation gain and a steep summit! Paradise <3

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We made it there one Saturday after a painful 8-hour drive. We had bad luck with some stupid traffic due to holidays. But as soon as we reached the Dolomites, the pain disappeared and extasy took over. Beyond-the-description landscapes…

The first part was the hardest one. We started the first 4 kilometers with a constant uphill. The views we have been seeing took the rest of our breath away. I hiked quite a lot across Europe, but I never saw such a landscape constellation. This region is really different.

3 hours later, we finally made it to the top and that moment to finally be able to see what behind the mountain came… The award of making it to the top was more than worth it.

Then came the down-the-way part. We were so excited because that magic Lake of Sorapis was getting closer and closer. A dream getting true. We crossed some ibexes playing with each other and they were surprisingly not scared of us. It seems that wild animals in Italy are quite used to people. So I moved forward quite and sat, admiring them for a while.

Of course we lost too much time taking pictures and it was getting dark, so we had to hurry up to reach the lake in daylight. 300 meters away from it, we crossed a sign which blew our dreams apart: “Restricted area, camping is forbidden, 500€ fine if got busted”.

Damn, what are we gonna do? Let’s take a look out there anyway and then we’ll see where to spend the night. To our good-or bad- luck, we found a bunch of young people already camping at the lake, even firecamps!

“Hey guys, are you sure it is safe to camp here? We saw the signs” I looked worried asking.

“Of course it is, who cares? We are in Italy” Said one of them sarcastically.

Okay, so we found a cool spot near a tiny river ending up at the lake and we set out camp place. It was July, so I didn’t bring a tent, only a sleeping bag and matress. And guess what? It happened to be that tonight is a shooting stars night! After a delicious dinner, I stayed in my sleeping bag, looking at the sky. It as 11 pm and the temperature around -1°C.

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I had one of the best nights of my life. I was resisting the sleep because there was a falling star each 30 seconds. It as calm, everybody is sleeping in their tents. It was so calm, so fresh, the light of the sky, the magic lake of Sorapis shining witht a phosporic light thanks to the stars, and me. A lifetime experience…

Of course I also didnt wanna miss sunrise. It must be awesome from here. So I woke up around 6 am. The lake was almost lighting and constantly changing colors… This is not real…

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Then somebody suddenly came to us worried and said: “The forest police is coming! Get your tents hidden”. I personally had nothing to worry about as I had no tent, but I helped my friends hiding up theirs…

Of course the police was faster, the arrested a bunch of us and lost one hour in hopless discussions “Oh we didn’t know! The signs were in Italian. We left our papers in the car!”. The police stressed us for a while and luckily they decided to let go, saying with that cute Italian accent: “Look, you are always welcome in this country. But you have to respect the law, and next time we will not forgive you. Have a nice day and enjoy…”

Italy, I love you <3

To reset my day, I went for a swim in the lake. It was really scary getting inside that blue. You don’t see the ground, some red tiny insects were swimming around, and above all: it was f*cking cold… I couldn’t resits more than 10 minutes. But they were enough to feel fresh and full of energy to continue the 6 kilometers we still have.

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Lago di Sorapis, you’ve been awesome to me. You are the best lake I have ever seen so far. Even before the breath-taking Sebensee in Austria which has been my favourite one for years…

Guys, guess what? A video is coming :D Subscribe to my Blog and Youtube Channel in order not to miss it and keep yourself updates with the next adventure I will write about ;-)

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