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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pizzeria La Perla

We searched TripAdvisor and found Pizzeria La Perla in the center of town.

Typical Italian Green Salad with Tomatoes and Carrots. Add your own oil & vinegar.

Prosciutto e Funghi--€8. Prosciutto is actually just ham. If you want what we call prosciutto, order prosciutto crudo. The crust was nice and chewy.

2016 09 10

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo is a mountain resort with a population of 6,000 that increases to 50,000 during the ski season. It is located in the Dolomites in northern Italy.

The town is adorable with a pedestrian zone filled with shops, galleries and restaurants.

Interesting sculptures in town.

The town is surrounded by gorgeous mountain scenery.

Basilica Minore dei Santi Filippo in the center of town.

When we visited, there was a 50s festival at the Hotel de la Poste in the center of town.

Cortina hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956. I was surprised at how small the venue was.

Today's hockey rink was the site of the opening ceremonies.

2016 09 10

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hotel Europa

After lunch, we drove into Cortino d'Ampezzo. Our home base for the next 2 nights was Hotel Europa. The hotel had parking and was located a 5-minute walk from the center of town.

Our room had a balcony facing the main street. Ask for a room in the back of the hotel if you like it quiet.

The hotel has a lot of old world charm

but the bathroom was modern

Breakfast was included, as was wifi. I did have difficulty getting on the wifi at times.

2016 09 10

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Roadside Lunch in Italy

After Hisa Franko, we left Slovenia and drove into Italy. We took SS51, a secondary road and stopped at a roadside restaurant, La Baita di Zanchetta Anna Maria, near S. Croce del Lago.

We sat outside and had a beautiful view of the lake. The only downside to sitting outside was that we had to deal with smokers. Smokers are still all over the place in Italy.

I had 1/4 liter of wine for €2. My husband, who was driving, had a Coke for €2.30. Hard to believe it's cheaper to have wine than a soft drink.

Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Basil--€9. My husband liked the perfectly al dente pasta and the ripe tomatoes.

Tagliatelle al Ragu di Cervo (deer)--€9. I liked this even more. This was amazing. The pasta was freshly made and the ragu was delicious.

Spinach Sauteed in Oil & Garlic--€4. This was also delicious. Reminded me of the spinach at Osteria in Palo Alto.

2016 09 10

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hisa Franko

My sister showed me a Netflix series called "Chef's Table," which featured Hisa Franko in one of its episodes. It's a destination restaurant and a bed & breakfast. Chef Ana is self taught and features local seasonal ingredients in her cuisine.

Hisa Franko is located outside of Kobarid, on the road to Italy.

The pink building houses modern rooms. The breakfast room is attached to it. The adjacent yellow house has simpler rooms and cost €90/night.

Dinner is in an upscale but non-stuffy dining room. You have a choice of a 5-course meal for €70 or a 9-course meal for €90. We chose to get the wine pairing. Interestingly enough, they charge you for the glasses that are poured. The wines weren't too expensive and cost €31 for 9 glasses.

Amuse bouche of Parmesan Crisp. This was served with Bjana Brut, a sparkling wine.

Barley Chips with Smoked Butter and Trout Roe.

Mussel with Parsley Oil, Tomato Gelee and Sour cream.

Marble Trout, Bay Leaf, Chestnut 3 Ways

For one of the courses, you had the choice of Rabbit Liver, Meadowsweet, Fig and Popped Buckwheat.

or Langoustine, Watermelon and Pimpinella.

Chestnut Soup, Chestnut Chips and Black Truffle.

Squid Filled with Lamb Sweetbreads, Caramelized Walnuts and Cave Cheese

Lagoon/Sea Bream, Grey Mullet, Clams and Cucumber

Wild Raspberries, Goat Cheese, Buerre Noisette

Walnut Meringue, 21-day Keffir, Pear in Camomille, Forest Honey and Polline Ice Cream

I was looking forward to this meal but must admit I was disappointed. The dishes weren't memorable. Some of the wines were good but there were also some very bad wines. I did not like the Mlecnik Chardonnay even though our waiter claimed it had won several awards. It was the most expensive wine of the evening at €9.20/glass. I'm not a Chardonnay fan but it also had an off taste.

Breakfast was included in the room rate. There was a bottle of delicious unfiltered apple juice at each table.

There was a table with all kinds of cheese & meats

There was another table with baked goods and fruit. I especially liked the plum tart.

Breakfast included eggs.

They have home-made jams and jellies. My favorite was the plum. I asked if they sold the jams and was given a complimentary bottle.

2016 09 09

Friday, November 25, 2016

Kanin Gondola

Just outside of Bovec is Mt. Kanin and a gondola. In 2013, there was an accident which rendered the gondola inoperable. Two cars plunged to the ground when the steel cable slipped. On the day of our visit, the gondola had just opened. Since it was the first day, there was no charge to ride the gondola. I guess test guinea pigs ride free.

The gondola ride took over 45 minutes to the top of the mountain.

View from Mt. Kanin, Slovenia's highest ski resort.

2016 09 09

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Soca Valley

Coming out of the Vrsic Pass, you reach the Soca Valley.

On the left, you pass the Miner's Church of the Virgin Mary of Loreto near Trenta.

Looking back at the Julian Alps

The Soca Valley is absolutely gorgeous.

At several spots, you can walk out on a suspension bridge to view the Soca River up close.

The Church of St. Joseph in the town of Soca, just 5 miles beyond Trenta.

During WWII, an artist hiding out in the mountains filled the church with patriotic symbolism, including this painting on the ceiling of the church. It's St. Michael in Yugoslav colors with Yugoslavia's WWII enemies at his feet: the eagle representing Germany, the Wolf Italy and the serpent Japan.

Behind the church, the cross on the hill marks a WWI cemetery where 600 Austro-Hungarian soldiers  killed in action are buried.

At a small gravel lot on the left beyond the church, a sign marked Velika Korita Soce or Grand Canyon of Soca.

A little further, you'll find a barn housing a primitive, industrial telpher cable-car line, used mostly for logging.

After exiting the national park, you'll find the WWI Kluze Fort, which stands watch over the narrowest part of the valley leading to Italy.

After the Kluze turnoff, there is a gravel pullout on the left with a wooden hut. Hike on the gravel path 10 minutes through the woods to reach the Ravelnik Outdoor Museum. Here, you'll find original WWI fortifications.

2016 09 09