Barns, Bars, Beams and Baite

Not wanting to miss out on this opportunity and turn it into a regretful woulda-coulda-shoulda afterthought, I’m grabbing a hammer, some nails and a saw to join Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. This time around it’s all about WOOD.

Catching some rays/sleep in Val Badia, Italy | photo courtesy ©Stefano Sacchiero

On a recent settimana bianca (white week) up in the Dolomites of northern Italy, I was surrounded by WOOD –  above, around and below.

Alpine cordial on the bar | ©Tom Palladio Images  Herder's alpine refuge

From the bed on which I slept, the hotel where I stayed, the tables where I ate, the bars where I drank (a lot!), and the rest stops along the slopes that I skied, WOOD was on display morning, noon and night.

Skis resting in a line | ©Tom Palladio Images  P1070135

Like most, if not all, mountain areas around the globe, the WOOD of the indigenous trees that grow out of the freshly fallen snow around the Dolomites provide the source and strength — and inspiration — for the infrastructure and detail of every home, hotel and baita/hütte/rifugio (refuges) — small wooden structures that are scattered about Italian alpine pastures for herders of sheep, goat and cattle; and, more recently, built up and out to accommodate the growing need of restaurants and watering holes for the hungry and thirsty seasonal sports enthusiasts.

Val Badia winter scene - Corvara | ©Stefano Sacchiero

Up in the Dolomites you’ll find the biggest and richest trees in all of Europe. Here you can admire Beech, Birch, Pines (Black, Cembra, Mugo and Sylvester), Golden Chain, Larches, Maples and Willows.

Ahhh. There is nothing quite like the fresh, natural smell of WOOD high up in the mountains during wintertime. The wood-planked ambiance — the lumber and the over-served imbibers — immediately brings one warmth, comfort and lots of enjoyment.

Beer lantern at a Dolomites refuge | ©Tom Palladio Images  Frosty stein of German beer | ©Tom Palladio Images

Enjoy the music-video of the barns, bars, beams and baite that I enjoyed during my ski holiday, and do let me know if I NAILED it.

©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images

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