And it’s only the beginning (photo credit @alta_badia_official, just one of the good Instagram accounts to follow — chock full of great hashtag commentary to click for inspiration as if you needed more.)
Here we GO. This winter takes an northeastern tint with Valle d’Aosta’s Italian Francophile comfort zone a faint glint in the rearview. I’m following a friend’s crumbs into the intensity of the Tirolesi landscape and its Austro-Hungarian-steeped Dolomiti for the first time.
This is a land of many names. South Tyrol. Alto Adige. The sweet spot is nestled between Austria to the north, Milan west, Venice south and Slovenia due east. A Unesco World Heritage Site since 2009, its translations tell the story — in Ladin, the local culture: Dolomites; German: Dolomiten [doːloːˈmɪtn̩]; Venetian: Dołomiti [doɰoˈmiti]: Friulian: Dolomitis. The convergence of so many traditions both natural and anthropologic is nothing but dramatic, striking to behold both in summer and its shimmering winter coat. Makes for great wine and food, too. Located about a 5 hours drive into the mountains from Milan, the Dolomiti form a part of the Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. And they are prime ski territory.
I’m headed to Alta Badia, the peaks of the valley by the same name, with villages clustered below. Pick the one in which you’d like to reside for your stay. My dart that wasn’t really a dart landed on San Cassiano, or St. Kassian, centrally positioned to the literal range of piste or ski runs, connected by the Piz Sorega gondola, anchored by couple Michelin star restaurants and frescoed in stube and stua. Population: 859. In a word, majestic. But there are so many words, and it’s high season so anything goes. Here’s the credential-censored itinerary below. My story begins tucked in these jagged peaks and continues on north, deeper into the Schwarzwald than ever before, and then onto Norweigan Fjords. It’s a handful, a lifetime. Solid course charted, yet ready to be broken at any time. Wouldn’t be right without some question marks either. I’m ready. Bank travel plans logged, data plan engaged, and gear is packed. I caved and went with a checkable sized bag. It’s going in the trunk anyway… Cue the mountain huts for the midday refuel… and obligatory après-ski. Uncork the wine with the food it was made to be eaten with! HUGE thanks to Jeff Michaud for the guidance and inspiration. See you on the other side. We say benvenuta Thursday in the wee hours, and we’ll let it unfold how it likes on @jackiesayet.
Winter Ski Holiday 16/17
WED 21 DEC
American AA 1048
MIAMI INTERNTNL 2:07 PM
NEW YORK JFK 4:57 PM
American AA 198
NEW YORK JFK 6:05 PM
THUR 22 DEC
MILAN MALPENSA 8:00 AM
CAR RENTAL – Locauto
Milano Malpensa Aeroporto Terminal 1
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
LUNCH (love an Autogrill but we’re doing a fancy pit stop here) 1:30PM – Zur Rose [reserved]
via Josef Innerhofer 2, 39057 SAN MICHELE
Gentile Sig.ra Sayet
Grazie della prenotazione per 1 persona al 22 Dicembre a mezzogiorno verso le ore 13,30
Distinti saluti Herbert e Margot Hintner
Arrive San Cassiano
HOTEL – Hotel La Stüa
Str. Micura de Ru 31
St. Kassian, 39036
Phone Number: +39 0471 849456
Our hotel in the mountains and our family will all make sure you spend a happy, relaxing holiday in peace and harmony with nature. Our philosophy: we do not have to do big things, but we can certainly do small things with a big heart!
Check-in 12/22/2016 [CET]
Check-out 12/29/2016 [CET]
Stay 7 Nights
Double room Standard (Type: Room; Non smoking)
Cosy and bright rooms of this category, with the total area of 18 square metres, feature a double bed, a shower/WC, a south-facing balcony with a marvellous view of the majestic peaks of the Dolomites, including Punte di Fanes, Lagazuoi and the Group of Sella.
1 × King Size bed
+ 0 × Rollaways
Beverages sold on the premises
High speed Internet connection
For a definite booking we allow ourselves
DINNER 8PM – Maso Runch [reserved]
FRI 23 DEC
“Paisc da Nadé” the village of San Cassiano will be set in a traditional alpine Christmas atmosphere. 4-7pm
DINNER 8:30pm – La Siriola [reserved]
Via Pre De Vi, 31, 39030 Loc. Armentarola, San Cassiano BZ, Italy
SAT 24 DEC
DINNER 8PM – Cantina Siriola
Cheese fondue and cold cuts!!
Via Pre De Vi, 31, 39030 Loc. Armentarola, San Cassiano BZ, Italy
SUN 25 DEC
DINNER 8PM (but Dagmar calling with time to meet the Snowcat) L’Ciamin [reserved]
Rifugio Col Pradat, Col Pradat, 39033 Corvara In Badia BZ, Italy
We will reserve a table for the evening dinner on the 25.12.2016 for you.
We will serve a 5 course menu at the arte of € 65,00. We will call you on the same day to tell you at which time you had to be present on the Col Pradat bridge where the snow mobile transfer will pick you up.
I ask you please to give us the dial phone code of your country – we have your phone number but we are missing the country code.
Thanks a lot and see you in some days
MON 26 DEC
LUNCH – La Terrazza
Via Pre De Vi, 31, 39030 Loc. Armentarola, San Cassiano BZ, Italy
Day trip to Innsbruck! Weihnachtsmarkt!
2 hrs away
(November 15, 2016 – January 6, 2017$
Of the half-a-dozen Christmas markets held each year in Innsbruck, the most romantic is in the Altstadt, lined with medieval houses. Stalls are piled high with gingerbread, wooden toys and delicate ornaments made from handblown glass. At dusk, trumpeters play carols on the 500-year-old Golden Roof. Try the kiachln – Advent doughnuts – served hot, with cranberry sauce. At weekends, ride the funicular up Nordkette mountain to Hungerburg. After tasty treats at this little market, continue your journey to the top of the Hafelekar for views of twinkling city lights and snow-tipped peaks. –
TUES 27 DEC
DINNER – Hotel La Perla – la stua [waitlist]
Strada Col Alt, 105, 39033 Corvara In Badia BZ, Italy
+39 0471 83 10 00
WED 28 DEC
DINNER 8PM – La Sieia [reserved]
Str. Berto, 61, 39030 San Cassiano BZ, Italy
THURS 29 DEC
Call American for update on British Airways strike (lol seriously)
Check out La Stua & drive to Black Forest.
HOTEL – Waldknechshof
Baiersbronner Str. 4, 72270 Baiersbronn, Germany
DINNER 7PM – Bauernstube [reserved]
Tonbachstraße 237, 72270 Baiersbronn, Germany
FRI 30 DEC
DINNER 8PM – Restaurant Bareiss [reserved]
Hermine-Bareiss-Weg 1, 72270 Baiersbronn, Germany
SAT 31 DEC
Alsace day trip
Via Kaiserstuhl To Eguishem
Auberge des Trois Châteaux for frogs’ legs and calf’s head and Alsatian stew called baeckoffe. The dish, which means “baker’s oven,” is made of beef, pork and lamb and traditionally prepped for up to 24 hours soaking in white wine and juniper berries. Wine Route! Low-acid, dry glass of muscat d’Alsace??
12th-century castle perched in the Vosges Mountains called the Haut Koenigsbourg. Caveau des Vignerons restaurant in Riquewihr – fleischnacka
Strasbourg! Xmas market!
Year round, Strasbourg scores for traditional charm, but during Advent the capital of Alsace is even more magical. Half-timbered houses sport giant red-and-white hearts; stars, angels and snowflakes garland the cobbled streets. Here, the Christkindelsmärik dates back to 1570, making it the oldest in France, and even the towering fir tree on the Place Kléber is a 400-year-old custom. Check out the 11 different “villages” – themed areas – and don’t miss the bredele biscuits, a local speciality. These special biscuits come in all shapes and flavours, from hazelnut, orange and cinnamon to walnut, coconut and praline. Take them home. Hang them on your tree… Then eat them.
NYE DINNER (8PM) – Restaurant Meierei back at Waldnechtshof
[reserved via Maurice Goetz]
SUN 1 JAN
Hike or snowshoe? Chill?
DINNER – ?
MON 2 JAN
Day trip : Bamberg a la Stef!
Gemany’s Rome! 7 hills each w/churches
Secret capital of beer!!
— smoked beer schlenkerla – little street after you pass it. Steep steps with a square.
“Dome” aka cathedral
Eat this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maultasche
I really hope you are able to visit Bamberg! It is such a beautiful town!
I’d recommend to get an audio guide at the tourist info located at geyerswoerthstrasse. There is a parking garage just underground where you can park. Next to the tourist info is the former Schloss Geyerswoerth. You should check at the tourist info, if you are able to climb up that little tower (they have a key that you need to get up there). You will have such an amazing view (see picture attached). From the tourist info you are in the old part (Altstadt) of the city in just a couple of minutes. Check out the old Rathaus (city hall, in my picture on the bottom right), go to the Dom (cathedral, in my picture the church on the top left). Right next to it is Alte Hofhaltung where Orlando Bloom was dueling in “the musketeers”. Across from there is the Rosengarten where you will also have a beautiful view over the city. A little bit further up you have another beautiful church (Michaelskirche, top right in my picture) right next to it is a cute little cafe.
The street where you have one bar/ restaurant next to each other and also Schlenkerla brewery is called Sandstrasse.
I could write so much more, lol, but that should cover at least a good part of it. I am pretty sure you will fall in love with my home town!
Please email me with any other questions you might have!
Safe travels and have so much fun!!
TUES 3 JAN
Check out/ drive to Milan
Locauto rental return (might switch to just Valet at hotel and return next day at airport )
DROP-OFF DATE AND TIME 03/01/2017 15:00h
DROP-OFF LOCATION Milano Stazione Centrale
check into Santa Marta Suites
Via Santa Marta 4
Check in: Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Check out: Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Duration: 1 night
Room type: Classic Suite
Total rooms: 1
DINNER – ?
WED 4 JAN
British Airways 573
MILAN MALPENSA 11:25 AM
LONDON HEATHROW 12:35 PM
768 WED 04JAN
LONDON HEATHROW 4:30 PM
OSLO 7:45 PM
Check in Thon Hotel Oslo Panorama
Raadhusgaten 7 B, Oslo, Norway
Check in: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 (3 PM-midnight local time)
Check out: Saturday, January 7, 2017 (Before noon local time)
Your stay: 3 nights, 1 room
In Oslo, check out these old school spot s that do traditional dishes. Try Lutefisk (salted fish) as Gamle Raadhus and Rakfisk (fermented fish) at Theatercafeen. Both (as well as salted lamb) are delicious at Engebret Cafe. These are popular spots with families celebrating the holidays so book ahead.
Maaemo is a super posh new nordic place.
Pjoltergiest is a fave of chefs. Mathallen is a cool food hall
Visit Tim Wendelboe for coffee. He’s one of those world champ coffee geeks. Have fun!!
Also – Solberg & Hansen, TW, Mika/Java Tracey Allen at Brewed Behavior via Panther Joel
Via NYT 36 hrs:
Norway is home to a small but thriving group of microbrewers. To sample these craft beers, head across the river to the Grunerlokka neighborhood, where a pair of fine brewpubs opened recently. Start at Schouskjelleren Mikrobryggeri (Trondheimsveien 2; schouskjelleren.no), a microbrewer that opened a pub in late 2010 in the cellar of the Schous Bryggeri, a defunct brewery dating from the 1800s. Beneath the subterranean bar’s vaulted brick ceiling, try the smooth Thunder Bear Stout (67 kroner). A few blocks away is Grunerlokka Brygghus (Thorvald Meyersgate 30B; brygghus.no), a bustling alehouse where you can sample one of the house beers on tap, like the refreshing Kjell Pop Single Hop (64 kroner) or choose among the nearly 100 bottles on the menu, including many from domestic breweries like Haandbryggeriet, Aegir Bryggeri and Kinn Bryggeri.
THURS JAN 5
The proximity of the city to the pristine Oslo Fjord makes a brief morning escape to its small islands simple. Board the ferry (schedules at ruter.no) at Vippetangen, and five minutes later you can find yourself traipsing around Hovedoya, the nearest island. Hiking trails crisscross this islet, also home to two swimming beaches and monastery ruins dating from the 1100s. On the return trip, take note of the glittering facades that dot the waterfront.
Madrid has the Mercado de San Miguel, Copenhagen has Torvehallerne, and now Oslo has a food hall of its own, Mathallen (Maridalsveien 17; mathallenoslo.no). The food hall, opened in October, occupies an old brick factory building beside the river and gathers more than 30 stalls, shops and restaurants under one (very large) roof. A focus on seasonal, local products is most evident at the mezzanine-level restaurant von Porat (vonporat.no), where dishes often feature foods from fellow vendors. But for a quick bite, pull up a stool to the counter at Anni’s Polsemakeri (polsemakeri.no), a butcher that also serves an excellent platter of grilled sausages, slaw and creamy potato salad (75 kroner).
Tjuvholmen, or Thief Island, is the highlight of the city’s continuing urban renewal project to reclaim industrial areas and docklands along the waterfront. The gleaming area has been transformed into a vibrant arts district, and its centerpiece is the city’s new architectural jewel: the Astrup Fearnley Museet (Strandpromenaden 2; afmuseet.no). This modern-art museum reopened last September in a sloping glass-and-timber complex designed by Renzo Piano; inside, provocative exhibitions feature works from Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami and Cindy Sherman (entrance, 100 kroner). Outside the museum, a small sculpture park is dotted with pieces by Louise Bourgeois, Anish Kapoor and others. After a tour, explore Tjuvholmen’s pedestrian lanes, where several art galleries have taken up residence. At the Pushwagner Gallery (Tjuvholmen Allé 10; pushwagner.no), the giddy colors and playful pop art from Hariton Pushwagner — the pseudonym of the acclaimed Norwegian artist Terje Brofos — are a far cry from Munch.
After admiring Tjuvholmen’s diverse art offerings, refuel at one of the area’s many new dining options. One standout is Hanami (Kanalen 1; hanami.no), a polished Japanese-fusion restaurant that opened in September 2011 with a focus on fresh seafood pulled mostly from the nearby Norwegian seas. Snag a table outside on the waterfront promenade, a prime people-watching location, and order a few plates to share. The torched salmon with roe and basil-miso sauce (159 kroner) is delightful, and the succulent roasted lobster, halved and slathered with sea urchin and foie gras butter (395 kroner), is positively decadent.
If you’re up for only one drink, try the small cocktail bar No. 19 (Mollergata 23; no-19.no), which opened a year ago near the former jail that inspired its name. With attentive service and dim lighting, the bar is a pleasant place to savor a concoction like the Violet Hands, made with Throndhjems Aquavit, Martini Rosato, Grand Marnier, Campari and a flambée of rosemary and Ardbeg Uigeadail whiskey (121 kroner). Unless you need to sober up quickly, wait until morning to calculate the cost of that drink in your home currency.
FRI JAN 6
Ride Line 1 of the metro up into the forested hills northwest of the city center to the majestic Holmenkollen Ski Jump. Skiers have been hurtling through the air here since the 19th century, but in 2010 a reconstructed version of the landmark was unveiled. With steel curves reaching for the sky, the modern structure looks more like a work of art than a sports venue. Entrance to the Ski Museum (110 kroner) offers access to the jump tower and its 360-degree views of the city, fjord and forests. (Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum, Kongeveien 5; holmenkollen.
Hop back on the metro heading north and alight where the line terminates and the tranquil woods take over. This sprawling forest, known as Nordmarka, lures adventurers year-round. In winter, cross-country skiers stream onto nearby trails; warmer weather brings mountain bikers and hikers. Take a brisk walk, and then retire to Frognerseteren (Holmenkollveien 200; frognerseteren.no), a handsome chalet with a restaurant and cafe near the metro stop of the same name. On the terrace, sip a crisp Saison from the Norwegian craft brewery Nogne O (half-liter, 115 kroner) and savor the spectacular view.
SAT JAN 7
Checkout Thon Hotel Oslo Panorama
OSLO 1:15 PM
HELSINKI VANTAA 3:40 PM
HELSINKI VANTAA 4:55 PM
MIAMI INTERNTNL. 9:05 PM
OPERATED BY FINNAIR