What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Highlights:- The final day walk around the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo - probably the nicest walk I've ever done! Fantastic scenery in the background, 3 or 4 different valleys so scenery constantly changing, close ups of marmots, a small peak, stop at a mountain hut, rock tunnels, mini-lakes, everything. Climbs of Monte Piano and Durrenstein were also pretty special. The food at the hotel ranged from good to exceptional. The home made ravioli filled with soft cheeses, and the goats cheese strudel with strawberry sauce were phenomenal (and I'm not normally a huge cheese fan). Hotel pool / spa area was great for unwinding after a long day in the hills.
What did you think of your group leader?
Karl was a very good group leader. Obviously experienced in the mountains, got on well with everyone in the group, and had a very dry sense of humour. Managed to tailor each day of walking to accommodate all the different levels of ability in our group very well, while ensuring everyone's safety. Built good relationships with the hotel / mountain huts we visited. Tweaked the itinerary slightly (we did the same walks as in the trip notes but in a different order) which I thought worked well.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
'Official' flights were at awkward times, especially for anyone not based around London. Would recommend investigating flights of your own, and then making your own way to the hotel. I flew from Edinburgh direct to Verona, then took a bus to the middle of the Verona, and then the train north to Villabassa - hotel was only 100 yards from the station. It's not that difficult to do (www.trenitalia.com gives all the train times) and saved me the hassle of changing plane / staying overnight in Gatwick on the way home (plus the environmental impact of taking another flight).
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Only slight criticism was of the 2nd days walking (Kreutzberg pass). Would suggest that the ascent is lengthened, allowing extended time to visit the Austrian border and/or climb a peak; and also shorten the descent we took (as this was through a forest and a little disappointing). Otherwise, walking was very good indeed.