Solda (or Sulden) is a tiny ski village located in the Ortler Mountains in Northern Italy. Once called the "Siberia of Tyrol", it is now a popular (albeit a bit remote) skiing spot. We were out here because Bryan had a work conference/retreat here. I don't ski at all, but I was still blown away by the beauty of the whole region.
We drove from Milan, and the entire drive I was just awestruck by the vivid colors and vast scenes surrounding me.
We did have one (kinda crazy) hiccup. We drove to the wrong mountain range (!). It's a long story, but our final destination, called Hotel Cristallo, turned out to exist in both the Dolomites and in Solda.
Still, though, the Dolomites (pictured above and below) were absolutely stunning. And it was quite an adventure that we look back and laugh about, even though at the time it was just a bit stressful to have to turn around and drive an additional 4 hours to our actual destination.
Still, I'll never forget how awesome these mountains looked.
We finally did arrive at the correct Hotel Cristallo in Solda around dinnertime. The food at the Hotel Cristallo is actually really good, which was surprising to me, considering how remote the location is.
The village itself is tiny, with only a population of 400 people. The powdery snow is amazing for skiing. The mountains are stunning, and the overall area is quiet, beautiful, and serene.
We did a hike up a portion of the mountain with a guide. I really didn't have the proper shoes, and my toes got soooo cold! Partly for that reason, it was one of the most difficult hikes I'd ever done.
Oh, but the scenery was so beautiful.
We certainly felt like celebrating after we got to the top!
At the top we saw where all the skiers hang out. There's also a couple restaurants here, and that's where we had lunch.
A beam of light looks almost like a rainbow from a distance.
We took the ski lift back down, and the views took my breath away.
Our room at the Hotel Cristallo was amazing, with a fantastic mountain vista greeting us every morning.
This is the view from the front door of the Hotel Cristallo.
Vineyards! Lagrein, an ancient grape that is grown in this region, is used to make wine. We drank plenty of Lagrein while we were at Hotel Cristallo.
Yes, Solda is a bit far out, but it's a lovely place to visit, and quite reasonably priced. We ate extremely well (the food is really very good!), had lots of local wine each night, and enjoyed the surrounding mountains during the day.
Unlike most people, I have never gone downhill skiing before. So the whole ski resort experience was brand new to me, making it all the more exciting. I didn't ski this time, but I still very much enjoyed being right in the middle of these giant mountains.