On to Bolzano. From Verona we went North toward the Alps. We passed numerous scenic villages, all of whom were marked by a tall church steeple. We followed the river Adige north to an area at the beginning of the Alps called the Dolomites. The valleys were formed by glaciers, so instead of the rolling hills like Texas, these valleys are cut sharp and deep between the mountains, making for some pretty dramatic views.
Bolzano is also known as Bolzen. The people up here speak German as their main language. This area was once dominated and controlled by Austria, but when Italy finished up on the winning side of WW I, it got this area and Italianized it. But the German tongue still dominates. My Italian was bad enough, now I have to work in German as well. But the people we deal with for the most part can get by in English thank goodness.
The hotel is well-placed in the middle of town, but it is pretty small. Our room is on the second floor, but we are 4 stairs up from the street. The bedroom is a little tight but ok. But our bathroom is way spacious. Ironically, I had always associated bidets with FRance, but when we toured France last summer I don't think we had mnore than one or two in the 16 or so hotel rooms we stayed in. So far in Italy even the smallest rooms ahve offered bidets. Don't know what that tells us, but there it is.
The big issue for the hotel was no internet. The hotel doesn’t offer it, and nobody could figure out how to use the free internet in the platz not far from the hotel. So I spent a frustrating hour working on the internet issue with no success. By then we were to meet up with Donald to walk to our group dinner tonight.
We walked to an alehouse about ¼ mile away, passing several shops and houses that had a distinctive tyrollian architecture. We arrived at Bathaus Hausel (?) and crammed ourselves into a small upper room. We were served by a couple of very nice guys who mainly spoke German but could communicate with us well. We shared a table and good times together as we learned more about one another. The plan for tomorrow is to go up to the Alpi de Suisa and do some hiking. We will see if the weather will allow that.