Sunday, April 10, 2011

Arco with Dave

We were psyched to host the great Dave Twining for a couple weeks in Italy.  The grand tour started with a long weekend in Arco, a climber's paradise.

View from the valley. Photo by Cassy.

Our moderate line: the left side of the striking steep face, where the vegetation meets the steep rock 

Dave is enjoying Italy already

Scouting the line

Pitch 4

The fantastic 8th and final pitch.  Huge air!

The final belay station

A paraglider spotted us and began making close passes.  We made a bit of conversation each time he went by.
Him: "Ciao! Siete Italiani?"
Us: "No.  Americani."

Him: "What's your Facebook? I'm Luca Bartolotti."
Since I'm the only person in the modern world not on Facebook, I was glad to have Dave with me.
We never did find old Luca Bartolotti on Facebook, but I think he'd be psyched about these photos.


On a rainy day we opted for a via feratta and got to see a bunch of WWI bunkers and some awesome views of Lake Garda.

The summit

The summit fist pump. Photo by Dave.

The summit register

And the typical post-summit confusion.  How the hell do we get down from here?


Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is about 2 hours from our house.  We stayed in an apartment right on one of the main canals.

Dave loved the bathroom door in the apartment because, for once in his life, he felt like a giant.

We went to a restaurant where they serve the same thing to each table.  The waitress told us we would get a good roast and some vegetables.  Sounded good, until we found out the roast was horse meat.
Cassy is sad to be eating horse.

Dave is very happy to be eating horse.

This could have been a lot worse

Ljubljana is the perfect city for Dave because he wants to be a dragon when he grows up.

Why is Dave hissing at me?

This guy got some serious tail on his trip to Ljubljana.

Cassy and Jess standing on the Triple Bridge, built by architect Joze Plecnik

Cassy and Dave wait on a cooking crepe

Another perspective of the Triple Bridge

Slovenia is known for its amazing cave systems.  This 3-mile walking tour was the best cave I have every seen.  

This room  is 300 feet tall and has a river running through it. You can see the lighted path about halfway up the cave wall where we walked.

At the end of the tour, this overlook offers views of the river as it leaves one cave and flows into another.

Cinque Terre

Randy and Kerry's trip started with a trip to the famous Cinque Terre (five lands/towns) on the Mediterranean.  We hiked the entire 7 miles of trail that connects the five towns, except for a small section where the trail was washed out.  February is the low season, so we hardly saw anyone else on the trail.

Above the town of Vernazza

Cassy and Jess weren't so sure about getting past this washed out section of trail.  Kerry said, "I think we should go for it!"  She was outvoted.

The Via dell'Amore (Lover's Path), where graffiti is completely acceptable because it originated as love notes between lovers from adjacent towns.  It's the only section of trail where we saw other hikers.


Once a year our small town has a huge blowout celebration for Carnevale.  We strolled out our front door to see what it was all about and we were astounded at the effort put into this parade.  The floats, the costumes, the millions of bags of confetti...this was a party!

This is a photographer's paradise: bright colors, crazy costumes, tons of people, and not a care in the world that some dude is snapping everyone's pictures.  Here are some of my favorite people pictures from the celebration.

It's rare to see such stunning blonde women in Italy.  Wow.

The Man Himself

There was about a mile of street that looked like this after the all the floats passed.