This was our first group hike in the Dolomites

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The Dolomites owe their name to the Frenchman Déodat Tancrè de Gratet de Dolomieu (1750- 1801) who "discovered" the chemical composition (stratified calcium magnesium carbonate) that renders this rock so different from all the rest. A nobleman and member of the French Institute, Dolomieu was also a geologist.

In 1789 Dolomieu collected rock samples and sent these to the geologist Nicholas de Saussure for examination. He had been intrigued by the rock's abnormal reaction to chloric acid, since it reacted less violently to this acid than other calcium based rocks.

He believed this to be an unknown mineral and his intuition was soon confirmed. Despite suggesting the name 'saussurite', the new mineral was classified as 'dolomia' in his honour. The name Dolomites was extended to the entire mountain region in 1864.

    

The hike first climbed up through the woods of the Val di Gotres.   Above - our guide, Paolo

           

Most of the mountain peaks in our photos are those of the Croda Rossa. The red color is iron.

           

After a short uphill, the landscape changes and opens up to the pastures of Forcella Lerosa

           

In this area many military outworks are still visible, dating back the 1st World War.

           

Next it's downhill to the valley of Ra Stua for lunch.

     

We learned from Paolo that it's not necessary here to stay on the trail.

We followed him down a steep grassy slope.  Below, Judith coaxes Pat down.

    

Below, lunch at the hut

After lunch, we thought it was downhill to the end of the hike - wrong

     

     

We followed the cliffs of Son Pouses.

           

           

And finally, the downhill we were promised!