Four minutes was all it took from bottom to top by the Aerial tramway!
Stepping out of the Tramway, we walked past the Restaurant and onto the natural terrace perched between the mountains. Here is an information board pointing to all the Mountains that we could view from here. My camera was working overtime!
We wandered around enjoying the fantastic 360 degree view of all the major peaks of the Dolomites: the Conca d'Ampezzo, the Marmolada, Pale di San Martino to the Sassolungo, to the foothills of the southern groups- FANTASTIC!
It seems unbelievable, but it is true the sea was once here, and the Mountain we were standing on, was once just a rock poking its head out of the Ocean!
So, my recommendation is to come on the Aerial Tramway to enjoy the view for yourself.
It was excellent!
It was June, and we found a lot of the cable cars/gondolas were not working yet.
On arrival at the Sass Pordoi, I was very happy to see one working!
There was hardly a person here, so we went and bought our tickets and then had to wait for the aerial tramway to come back down.
Whilst waiting, we had a look at the drawings of where we were going and what it looked like, interesting!
We spent some time in the souvenir shop, as it was pretty cold outside. If you have warm clothes, wear them! My warmest clothes were not warm enough!
The Tramway departs every half hour, and cost for Adults was 15 euro each a return trip in 2013
Canazei is a small town that stretches along the valley and has Mountains either side.
Because of this, the Town has a very long street, and not many side streets.
I guess if you are fit, it's quite easy to walk, but for me, we drove so far, then I walked and caught up with the car further along the street. We then drove until we found some more interesting frescoes, and the car was stopped once again.
This town is filled with frescoes, so if you like this type of thing, then you may want a day here.
There are plenty of hikes in summer, but other than that, the town is pretty quiet. I imagine Winter time it would be quite busy!
Passo Sella was the top of the pass at an altitude of 2240 metres above sea level.
Before reaching the top of the Pass, we had seen fabulous scenery of cows grazing on the green meadows and on the Mountain sides, plus the Dolomites, some were covered in fog and had snow, overs were clear to see, what a road for stunning scenery!
A stop at the top, and then we were heading down the Mountain pass on our way to Canazei.
It isn't far, about 16kms, time wise slow, as this section took us through many sharp switch backs.
It was quite an amazing view to see the road winding its way down the Mountain side, and us knowing we would soon be there.
Motor bikes seemed to handle it with ease, just the type of road they like ride along!
Further down the Mountain, the scenery changed to many Fir trees, reminded me of Canada, and then out of the blue we saw Canazei in the bottom of the valley.
Another beautiful view!
If you don't wish to return to Canazei, and we didn't, we then followed Route SR48 to Passa Falzarego, where we made a stop, and then continued onto to Cortina d'Ampezzo.
You will not we disappointed, as there is more amazing scenery along the way which I felt changed as we were heading this way. The road was a "masterpiece' of engineering! The scenery now had fir Trees dotted around the landscape, and the Mountains were not quite as high. We came across some small settlements and some tiny Chapels, it really was another gorgeous piece of road to drive along!
The Dolomites are beautiful on their own, but if you are lucky enough to see lots of wildflowers, like we did, then the scenery is better still.
We were travelling these roads in June, which seemed a good time for weather, traffic, lack of people and the wildflowers!
A memorial to Fausto Coppi stands at the summit of the Pordoi pass.
Viewing the memorial, I could see that it was a memorial for a cyclist. It seems that Angelo Fausto Coppi, ( 1919 -1960), was an extremely good international cyclist in the years each side of the Second World War.
With his successes, he became a "champion of champions."
He was an all-round racing cyclist, excelling in both climbing and time trialing, and was also a great sprinter.
He won the Giro d'Italia five times (1940, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953), the Tour de France twice (1949 and 1952), and the World road champion in 1953.
He is believed to be one of the greatest riders of all time.
Golly it was cold at the Summit. I didn't have gloves or hat, and no-where near thick enough jacket, so I froze!
After taking photo's and enjoying the views, we headed into the Restaurant for a Hot Chocolate.
Lucky it wasn't busy and there were plenty of free window tables, and it was heated!
I began to thaw out, and then the hot chocolate came, and that warmed me even more.
We enjoyed our drinks and the wonderful views out the window.
The time had come and we were soon on our way up the side of Mountain to La Terrazza.
The Tramway moves fast, in fact, it takes only 4 minutes to climb the 2950 metres!
The climb to the Summit is quite steep, and in some places we pass through patches of fog.
The cable-car is free hanging, so don't expect any pillars as there aren't any on the 800m ascent!
Hope you are not frightened!
Sass Pordoi is one of the southern ramparts of the huge fortress of the Sella Group, together with Piz Chiavazes.
The mountain is directly connected to the Sella plateau, and looks perhaps like a karst moonscape.
There are only two faces, both are vertical cliffs. The western face rises for 800m out of Val Lasties while the south face is divided in two parts by the famous Sella ring-band, a giant ledge which surrounds the whole group.
The views from the Tramway are incredible, making me very happy that this Tramway was working!
It was time to depart Canazei and to venture further into the Dolomites.
We went up the same road we came down, and then turned right onto SS48 which changed route number at the Pass to SR 48.
Once again, this road provided stunning views. We stopped at a very pretty Mountain Lake, and then again at the Hotel Bellavista to see the frescoes and the good view from here.
Up the Pass we went, winding our way up the Mountain side, until we reached the Passo Pordoi.
The road from Canazei we were travelling along, crosses the Pordoi pass at an altitude of 2,239 metres, and then continues onto Arabba.
It's the highest surfaced road traversing a pass in the Dolomites, and is only 12kms from Canazei on a very windy road.
It looks like souvenir shops are found anywhere one can be built.
Here we were, at the Pass, 2239 metres above sea level, and there is a Souvenir shop, Gondola and Accommodation/food.
We had decided to go on the Gondola and had time to kill, so we went into the Souvenir shop.
Very well stocked, with an excellent variety of gifts, I found it hard to make up my mind!
A unique gift was framed arrangements of dried alpine flowers, really nice!
Prices I thought were quite good, so I walked out with quite a few items.
Worth having a look at, even if you don't buy!
What does a house in Fairyland look like?
Well, I imagine it would look like this one in Canazei!
Gobsmacked when I first saw it! It is completely covered with frescoes, and not only is the front beautiful, so are the sides and the back of this house. I loved the two carved faces that you would walk past to enter the back door.
This is such a pretty house, and a MUST SEE if you are in Canazei!
Must say, I felt sorry for the owners, they really must tire of everybody looking and taking photos of their lovely home.
It take some time in the lifts to get to the top of the Marmolada M. at 3342 but in good weather as we had, it was just wonderful to lunch here ..... THE VIEW was just WONDERFUL! frost particles sparkling in the sunlight.
And after a fun ride down the glacier.
Hotel Andreas is located on the main road through Canazei.
Keep an eye out for this Hotel, as it has one of the best displays of painted Frescoes in the town.
Its a wonderful feast for the eyes!
You can take a lift to the Sass Pordoi ...if there are a lot of snow maybe you can get down alife on ski??????