Castelrotto, one of the cities known as the "Door to the Dolomites," is the sweetest little city in South Tyrol of Northern Italy in the Alpe Di Siusi region of the Dolomites. It's population of about 6,000 people speak mostly German as their first language, but we didn't find it hard at all to find people that spoke English (like most of your trip! I couldn't believe it!). We stayed in a really cute hotel called Hotel Cavallino D'oro and woke up in the morning to live music and a small farmers market in the streets of the main square just outside our window. We picked up some sort of local pastry favorite that was a flaky, warm pastry filled with JAM. SO GOOD. We walked around the sweet little town before taking a bus to the bottom of the Alpe di Siusi Cable Car we would take to reach Bullaccia! We took two different lifts to get from the bottom to the top of the meadow where we would hike the Witches' Benches Trail. This hike is about 6 miles long total and wraps around this beautiful meadow full of cows, horses and sheep! There are panoramic views of the Dolomites and the city below in all directions. It was a really lovely day when we were there and we even had time to stop in for a little snack at the trail's best kept secret: The Arnica Mountain Hut which is a great little restaurant in the middle of nowhere along this trail. The perfect place to stop in for a beer and a snack! After finishing our hike and heading back down the lifts to the base of the mountain, we found a pretty epic place to play mini golf overlooking the Dolomites.
I am so completely blown away by the incredible love and support this community continues to show me and my small business. Thank you all SO much for the Gold nomination of Bellingham Alive's Best of the Northwest "Best Photographer!!" It means so much to know that my work is reaching all kinds of different people across our community. I appreciate you all more than I can say and I am looking forward to another fantastic year ahead!
I have been working with Natalie of Pozie by Natalie for several years now on all sorts of amazing projects. Not only is she a huge inspiration to me as a small business owner and a creative, but she's become a wonderful friend to me. When we both received notice that we had won Gold Nominations in our categories of business we decided that was the perfect reason for a little shoot together. Check out some really fun projects we've done together over time here!
HUGE thank you to Sarah at Vivaluxx School of Makeup for making us feel totally fabulous for this session, too. Another FANTASTIC business owner in this town of ours!
We took about a 2 hour bus ride from Salzburg to Hallstatt on a really lovely afternoon. We passed several lakes and wound around MANY steep and windy hills before reaching this MAGNIFICENT and completely breathtaking little slice of heaven. Hallstatt is a small city in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. It's full of 16th century alpine houses and alleyways brimming with flower boxes. I fell immediately in love with the quaint little market square and cheerfully painted buildings and shops and Lake Hallstatt visible from nearly every part of town. One of my favorite local shops was full of hand carved wood toys you'll see below.
Once we'd tried to soak in as much of the bustling little town during the busy hours as we could, we headed up to the Church of Saint Micahel to visit the beautiful cemetery and the famous Bone Chapel. There are more than 1300 skulls inside this little stone room- something you certainly don't see everyday! The skulls are grouped by family and represent the entire community through the ages. Hallstatt is incredibly proud of their little town and the people who live here and they treasure them just as much after death. I loved visiting this sacred and meaningful part of Hallstatt.
From here we hiked 40 minutes and the equivalent of 120 flights of stairs in height up to the Hallstatt Skywalk Welterbeblick that overlooks Hallstatt Lake! The hike up is pretty intense, but the vies make it all worth it. We even found the entrance to an old mine! This fantastic skywalk platform at the top protrudes out over the side of the mountain and gives you the most spectacular view of the entire lake and city below. Also, there's beer up there- very worth it :) Hallstatt is known for it's salt mines and this is also where you would go to find that tour, although this isn't something we chose to do.
After refueling on beer and sausage we hiked down and hopped a boat out on Lake Hallstatt to get a view of the town from a new angle. PLUS there was a really cool castle across the lake I wanted to check out ;) We brought some local beer and snacks, hopped aboard and cruised the lake!
As the night wound down we walked down to the local "bathing island" to watch the swans and baby ducks play in the water. We found some cool old buildings and a church that doesn't appear to be in use anymore and just enjoyed the details of this charming little town. In the wide shot below you'll see a funicular that goes all the way from the bottom of the mountain nearly to the top. That is the alternative to the very steep hike we did earlier that day, but I promise it's really worth it to get out in that fresh mountain air!