More From the Dolomites – Dolly Goolsby

Author: , September 19th, 2018

Good evening, all,

We had another adventure on the mountains this morning. Today, the weather was quite different from yesterday. There was a cloud cover and it was pretty breezy and chilly, once we got up to Compatsch. I took it easy today, only taking a cable car up to Puflatsch and back again. However, the view from up there made me so happy just to be up in those mountains.

However, after I had some coffee at the restaurant, I walked out and looked toward the west. I love this view, for you can see across the top of Italy, into Austria. If there weren’t any clouds, I believe you could see to Switzerland.

The kids weren’t deterred by the weather. They took the Trail of the Witches, up to the Witches’ Benches, following the path that overlooks the valley and the villages down below.

I have never seen fuzzy cattle before. After I saw the picture, I knew I would have to make that hike myself, just to see these guys up close. Mama cow has already shed her winter coat, by rubbing it off on the trees. I think she is trying to help her baby get that old stuff off. Mama really needs to get her bangs cut.

My way of relaxing is just to view this peaceful valley with the grand mountains in the background. Although I did not hike today, I found my happy place where I could simply absorb the beauty of the Alpe di Suisi meadow.

Tomorrow will be another day for exploring up on the Alpe di Suisi. I will write more about that after we get back from that adventure.

I hope you are enjoying the Dolomites with us.

Ciao for now,


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Trentino Alto-Adige Gay Travel Resources

Dolly Travels – In the Dolomites

Author: , June 22nd, 2015

Dolomites - DollyYesterday I left Verona, traveled north by train to Bolzano, then I caught a bus that brought me to Castelrotto, in the Dolomites. While I am still in Italy, it doesn’t feel like Italy any longer. I feel like I am in Austria. I can almost hear “Sound of Music” coming from the hills.

On the bus ride, I could just feel myself relax, muscles unwind, brain letting go of stress.

When I got to the hotel, I met three of my friends who had arrived here a few days before, while I stayed in Verona. I checked into the hotel, opened the door to the small terrace, and was greeted by a gorgeous view.

It was chilly last night, so we didn’t venture further than the nearest good restaurant for dinner, some good red wine from the region, and called it a night.

Today, two of the friends left. Susan and I took the chairlift up to the small area of Marizen. Later, I took the chair lift back to Castelrotto, while Susan hiked back.

I did get a few raindrops on my head on the ride down, but that stopped almost immediately, and the rest of the afternoon was very pleasant. This evening, we took a little walk around town before going out to dinner.

From the Main Street of town, I looked down on another little village below Castelrotto. I think that needs to be checked out tomorrow.

Finally, we went to dinner, and had a fantastic meal. The dinner was Austrian food: roast veal with bread dumplings in a rich sauce, followed by an Italian dessert, panna cotta. Of course we had another local wine with dinner, then waddled our way back to the hotel.

On that note, I will close. We are hoping for good weather in the morning, so that we can do some hiking. Or, maybe a stroll in the meadow. I am just so happy to be here, and I am enjoying the lovely scenery, the fresh mountain air, that I really don’t have an agenda. I will just savor the moment.

Until next time,


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Trentino-Alto Adige Gay Travel Resources

Our Last Day in the Dolomites

Author: , September 18th, 2014

Dolomites - DollyGood evening, all,

Yes, I am almost packed and ready to leave in the morning….physically, that is. Emotionally, not nearly ready to leave this gorgeous area. I find the Dolomites to be so majestic, yet so relaxing to be here. I think I said this last year, also, that I know my blood pressure is so much lower when I am up here. My thoughts are clearer, I feel healthier, and every trail I see I want to be on it.

Today was a bit cloudy, the mountains wanted to retain their mantle of clouds, so we stayed down in the valley. We took a bus up to the village of St. Ulrich, or Ortesei (either name is correct) and I am not quite sure whether Val Gardena is also the same village, but if not, it is very close. There will be World Cup skiing competition in Val Gardena in December of this year, so I will watch for that.

Ortesei is indeed a lovely town, bigger than Castelrotto and more touristy, but the buildings are beautifully kept up. Some building date back to the 1500’s, another was from 1745. Amazing.

So, now that I have to leave, I will give you a photo to remember the peaceful, lovely countryside near Castelrotto and I will hope to return here very soon.

Now, tomorrow we are going to Bologna and will do the fantastic Italian Food Experience on Friday. We will visit a Parmigiano -Reggiano factory, the balsamico factory and the prosciutto factory, all in Modena, near Bologna. Look for posts from there.

I will close on that note, and wish everyone a Buona Notte. (Anyway it is my bedtime, if not yours.)

Ciao for now,


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Trentino Alto Adige Gay Travel Resources

Visiting Marinzen

Author: , September 16th, 2014

MarinzenGood afternoon,

Today, according to, it was supposed to rain. I am glad to say that once again the forecasters were wrong. We woke up to a beautiful sunshiny day. Right now, at 4:00 p.m., I am sitting on the balcony of my hotel room and this is my view:

So we may get the rain tonight, but it is still very nice outside.

Instead of going up to Compatsch today, we decided to go only halfway up the mountain. There is a chair lift right here in town that took us up to a little mountain restaurant that has pastures for cows, horses and the ever-present goats. This little area is called Marinzen. It is a pretty spot, with hiking trails running up to Marinzen, and several leading away from there.

It was so nice up there, hikers were relaxing on the lounge chairs and sun bathing. The goats were taking a nap on the platform for the kiddie slide.

But also, today, there was a musical group playing Oktoberfest music….polkas, waltzes, two-steps. That was very enjoyable, too, sitting there in the sunshine, drinking a beer, watching the dancers dancing in their hiking boots.

Later, we walked out and were able to pet the horses and the cows. The animals expected we had food for them, so I was a bit leery, but they all behaved nicely.

As I said before this is just beautiful country…very relaxing, very clean, and very nice people. I never get tired of looking at the mountains, the meadows and the pretty little white houses with red or brown roofs.

We went for a walk in town after returning to Castelrotto. The weather is just so conducive to being outside, none of us wanted to come back inside. Susan hiked back to town instead of taking the chair lift. She said she did the hike in 30 minutes. It was posted as taking 1 hour 20 minutes, but I swear she is part mountain goat anyway.

But just so that you know, I do have to do chores, like laundry, which is washing as I am writing. Then we have to decide where to go for dinner tonight.

Hmmm..shall it be the wiener schnitzel tonight, or the sausages with sauerkraut? Big decisions to make.

I shall sign off for now and tackle these weighty problems.

Ciao for now,


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Trentino Alto Adige Gay Travel Resources

First Hike in the Dolomites

Author: , September 15th, 2014

Dolly in the DolomitesGood afternoon, everyone,

Yes! Although the clouds covered the mountains this morning, we decided to give hiking a try anyway. We got on a bus which took us to the gondola station, then took the gondola up to the meadow, and the little town of Compatsch. By the time we got there, the clouds were already starting to break up, the sun came through and we enjoyed a very nice little hike, up to the area called Panorama.

The scenery was so beautiful I didn’t know which way to look first, or second. The weather was great, not too cold, not too warm. From our vantage point, we could see trails going all over the meadow. Again, choices, choices! Which one to do next? We even got to see a couple of llamas on our hike. Lots of cows, a few horses.

On our return trip, a few clouds began to hover, but they were not threatening. Finally, we decided it was getting late, so we just trekked back to Compatsch and had a lovely lunch.

Pictures just cannot relate the grandeur, the enormity of this area. There were quite a few hikers and mountain bikers out, but the entire day was relaxing, inspiring and I truly felt, this is a great gift from God that I am able to enjoy some of His wonderful creations. I could spend weeks up here and see something different every day. I know I am truly blessed. I know that the ladies traveling with me felt the same way today.

The only thing that would make this trip even more enjoyable for me would be for each of you to join me on a hike, so that I could show you what I love and tell you how much this area means to me.

Until that occurs, I will say….

Ciao for now,


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Trentino Alto Adige Gay Travel Resources

Bolzano and The Dolomites

Author: , September 13th, 2014

Yes, we are now in Bolzano, the beginning of the Dolomites. I am sitting on the terrace in front of my hotel room writing to you and here is what I am seeing in front of me:

Dolomites - Dolly Goolsby

Tomorrow we will be traveling up to Castelrotto, which is in a valley below those mountains.

Bolzano is a beautiful town, also. We are hearing more German language here, although I am hearing Italian, also. It is interesting to hear a shop keeper change from German to Italian to English without missing a beat. I have been using my Italian language skills more the past few days. I am pleased with myself over that.

When we arrived in Bolzano, we were so hungry! As soon as we got checked into the hotel, we headed for the nearest restaurant. Well, I knew about this brewery/restaurant, so we went there.

Today we went to the Archeology Museum to see Oetzi, the man who was discovered in the mountains above here in 1991. He is over 5,000 years old, so the museum dedicated to him is really amazing. We even got to see him through a glass window. He is very well preserved, and it is just so interesting to learn about the many processes used to learn so much about him. And the scientists keep learning even more.

After that, we had lunch, then took a gondola ride up to Oberbozen, a little village above Bolzano. The weather was great, so we had a lovely day. We didn’t do any hiking, but just strolled around the village, taking pictures, and enjoying the view, the clean air, the peacefulness

Tomorrow, as I said, we will go to Castelrotto. I hope our good weather holds up, so we will be able to do some hiking.

Thanks to all of you who are following the blog, and commenting on the posts. I really appreciate that, and hope you are still enjoying following my travels.

Ciao for now,


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | ‎Trentino-Alto Adige Gay Travel Resources

Postcards From an Italian Adventure – Verona & Belzono

Author: , July 3rd, 2010

Gay Friendly Veneto Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 3rd

Buona sera,

ColisseumIt is getting late and I need to get to bed, but I just have to tell you about our last two days. We left Venice Tuesday morning, and went to Verona. What a lovely city. Our hotel was right near the main Piazza, so after dropping our bags off (our rooms were not ready yet), we took the Rick Steve’s self guided city tour.

ColisseumOur first stop was the Arena, which is the 3rd largest Roman amphitheater in Italy. It is beautiful, and well maintained, used for opera presentations, Shakespeare plays, Rod Stewart concerts, all sort of entertainment, as apparently the acoustics are excellent.

Then we walked down what has to be the Rodeo Drive of Verona, and found Enoteca Oreste, a wine and grappa bar. We each had a glass of wine, I had a lovely conversation with Oreste… Italiano!! That was fun…

Then, as the city has the river Adige as a boundary on three sides, we followed the river for a bit, then went to Church of Sant’Anastasia and the Duomo. By this time, Christine and Kathy decided they needed to get home to the hotel to rest their injured appendages.

So Kristie escorted them, Susan, Ruth and I finished up the 2 churches. However, when we got back, we found that the first group had climbed the Clock Tower…so much for resting up the injured!!

In the evening, we were joined by another co-worker, Marlene and her lovely daughter, Ali. They are on vacation together, and will be following our same itinerary for the rest of the tour.

We all went to dinner to gether and had a great meal and a great ending to a fabulous day. We hated to leave Verona.

DolomitesBut this morning we got on the train and came to Bolzano. On our trip north, the landscape just became more and more beautiful. Now were were entering the beginning of the Dolomites.

Bolzano is very different than the other Italian towns we have been in, primarily because it is Tyrolian, very German looking, and the language here is primarily German, although if you push hard enough, some will grudgingly speak Italian, but not much English at all. For lunch we had dumplings and sausages, and a huge beer….no, we did not let Kristie drink that 2 liter bottle by herself.

We then took a cable car up to Oberbozen, where we were able to look down at the green fields and vineyards, and the neat farm houses and churches. It does feel a lot like Switzerland or Austria or southern Germany.

Grapa in ItalyOur hotel here is sumptious. Since we didn’t have time today, tomorrow we are going to the Museum of Archeology, as we want to see Otzi the iceman, who was discovered in 1991, and found to be 5,300 years old. This is just have to see.

Then we will catch a bus to Castelrotto and spend the next three days exploring the Dolomites. I will send more pictures when I can.

Until then, I hope you are enjoying the blog. Oh, I forgot to mention in the last Florence blog, that we were making gnocchi, in case you wondered what we were all doing at that table with the flour and all those little round things on plates. And the gnocchi, by the way, was very good.

So ciao for now. I am off to more adventures tomorrow, after a nice long bubble bath tonight.

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