December in the Dolomites

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Skiing in December is truly the best way to get over the grey and rainy skies of London. As we were descending into Innsbruck on the Austrian-Italian border, we were dazzled with the beauty of the Austrian Alps, a range of points that surround the landing path making it one of three airports in the world that pilots require special training to land into. A fantastic swirl of danger in the statuesque scenery.

From Innsbruck, it takes about 30 – 4o minutes to reach the border, and another hour to the pine-clapped village of San Cassiano where we were spending our weekend at Hotel Rosa Alpina.

A quaint village, we arrived in darkness littered with flickering specks of yellow and white lights dotting the trees and lining the roofs. The Dolomites are famous for their unique boulder-like shape, less triangular and flatter across the top, they are ‘a gift from the sea.’ Their formation from plates colliding gazillions of years ago has led to several important ocean fossil discoveries on the top of the pistes and their outstanding beauty has claimed them as an UNESCO heritage site.

The snow was late to Alta Badia so whilst we skiied on the pistes we were surrounded by brown and green countryside under endless blue skies.

Our guide was Diego, who lived for the mountains and believed that the secret to life was within them – everyday was the best day, he had no preference for season because each day was a gift and whilst he had a mobileΒ he did not believe in doctors instead turning to the natural herbs growing in the forests that line the Dolomites.

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For Michelin-star cooking, Norbert is your man at the Wine Bar & Grill at Hotel Rosa Alpina. Head into to Corvara for some shopping – supermarkets selling local produce and traditional architecture.

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