I’ll admit, I’ve fallen in love with Italy. Ever since Carmen and I first traveled to Rome in early 2018, everything about the country captivated me and drew me in. Maybe it’s the food, or the endless amount of history, or the beautiful architecture and buildings! My obsession for wanting to visit and explore Italy more led me to book another trip there this year! This time, I decided that we would travel to other cities and surrounding countries. Would you believe that we spent the same amount on this trip, visiting 8 cities in 12 days, as we did on our trip to visiting Rome last year?! Maybe I’ll do a separate post on how we manage to do as much traveling as we do…
One of the places I wanted to stop and see was the Dolomites in northern Italy. All I did during endless amounts of scrolling through my social media feeds was gaze and daydream about the beautiful photos of the Dolomites that people would check-in to. So I wanted to share with you one of the places we visited in the Dolomites on our European excursion!
After our first two days in Venice, we packed up our rental car on October 10, my birthday, and headed to Borca di Cadore, which is located in the Province of Belluno, Italy. It was a little over of a two hour drive. If you aren’t one for long drives, this one is sure to make your jaw drop. About halfway through the drive, I was falling in love with all the views of the mountains!
We arrived at Antelao Dolomiti Mountain Resort shortly after noon. Our hotel was about an 18-minute drive from Cortina d’Ampezzo. Fun fact: Cortina d’Ampezzo hosted the winter Olympics in 1956. It was the perfect location in relation to the places we planned to see. So after unpacking, I glanced at the time and realized, we had half a day to burn! I thought to myself, why don’t we drive to Lago di Braies today instead of tomorrow?! Now, if you’ve never heard of such place, it’s totally okay, because neither did I until I researched it before our trip to Italy. Years ago during such a low time of my life, I had this beautiful photo as my background screen I found on Pinterest of steps leading into a beautiful lake. I didn’t know where it was, except that I knew someday I’d go visit it.
We headed out to grab lunch before driving to Lago di Braies. The funny thing about Italy is that Italians value their time of relaxation. So it’s not uncommon for restaurants to be closed for a few hours during the day. (On a side note, I think we should adopt some of the Italian ways) We drove around searching for places nearby to eat with no luck for the first half hour. It felt like a ghost town! Finally we found a cozy pizzeria called Stuzzica La Voglia, located in San Vito di Cadore. One of mine and Carmen’s favorite thing about Italy is how amazing the food is and how cheap it can be! So we filled our bellies with delicious pizza and espressos and headed out. We even had time to stop and take photos along the way of Lago di Landro, which was so beautiful!
Lago di Braies has gained a lot of attention the past few years, especially with social media influencers flocking to it. There’s hardly a time of the year where you’ll find the place all to yourself. We were arriving sometime before sunset, so my biggest worry was having to deal with the crowd. But we took the chance, and boy am I SO glad we did!
As we approached, I was bouncing with excitement in the passenger seat. I was looking forward to this for months and couldn’t wait to see it in person. Never mind the 40 degree weather, that’s what coats are for, right?! Can I just say, if you ever plan to visit the Dolomites, go around October. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we walked up to the dock. Absolutely. No. Crowd. To be honest, I think I forgot to breathe for a few minutes. As much as I love traveling, sometimes it’s hard to visit places off the beaten path. This was one place I HAD to visit. The photos of Lago di Braies I only saw on the background of my phone helped get me through some tough times, as silly as that may sound.
I stood at the top of the stairs for a moment, taking in the scenery. There was a man blowing into a very large horn of some kind off to the right of the lake. It added as the perfect background tune, as if we were in the middle of rolling a scene of a movie. In that moment, I realized: we can do and achieve anything we set our minds on. I know it’s so cliche, and we’ve heard it as kids growing up. But truthfully, they were right. If I didn’t have the drive, and determination to see even a fraction of the world, I’d have never ended up where I was that day. On my birthday. Traveling with my best friend. Did I mention on my birthday? *Insert ten smiling emojis*
If you’ve ever had a desire to visit places you’ve never been to, all you have to tell yourself is that you CAN go there. it IS possible. Once you put that desire and energy out into the universe, all of a sudden, you’ll start attracting people, places, and circumstances that will lead you there. I truly believe in the Law of Attraction. In fact, The Secret is one of my favorite books that helped alter my way of thinking when I first read it at the age of 20. If I could use the Law of Attraction to my advantage, to bring myself inside that beautiful photo, in which its location was once a mystery, what else can I manifest in my life?