Hiking 5:30:00  6.8 mi (48:32 / mi) +1950m 25:40 / mi
shoes: Saucony Peregrine
Hiking from Brixen to Plosehutte with Sam, Brendan, Nadine, and Anna! After an 11h plane ride and a 6h train journey, we arrived in Venice last night at like 10:30pm, scurried out to get some quick pizza and gaze excitedly at the canals, repacked for our hut-to-hut adventure, and fell into bed around midnight. I then had a sort of fitful night of jetlagged sleep before the alarm went off at 6am to catch our train to the Dolomites. The train journey to Brixen was speedier than last night's train to Venice. (Note to self: If I'm ever in Italy again, avoid the Regionale trains when possible. The Regionale Veloce trains are definitely the best speed for your euro. And the speedy trains are super nice, but more expensive.)
We spent a bit of time getting our bearings in Brixen, found a grocery store, lamented the lack of public bathrooms in Europe, and started off on our adventure. The plan for this trip was to do the first 5 days of the Alta Via 2, and today's hike was basically just a slog up straight up a wooded mountain.
We hiked up from Brixen to San Andrea, which was already surprisingly steep. We sort of vaguely looked around San Andrea for somewhere to have a picnic, but there didn't seem to be anywhere with good views, so we continued up to the gondola station, where we had lunch and (finally) found a bathroom. We briefly debated taking the gondola up the mountain, but it seemed a bit like cheating and we were all feeling good and had enough time to get to Plosehutte by dinner, so we decided to walk.
It was a SUPER steep walk up the mountain with occasional views every time we crossed the cleared gondola path, and reminders that we were not in the US every time we passed a station of the cross. Otherwise, we just had to avoid the downhill mountain bikers that were taking the gondola up the hill and then speeding back down.
We took a wrong turn at some point and were stopped by a friendly guy who seemed extremely confused by where we were going. Luckily Nadine was with us because he spoke some obscure dialect of German and the rest of us couldn't understand him, but Nadine managed to finally determine that we were going the wrong way. I guess that was why the trail was only moderately uphill in that section, rather than straight up the mountain. We hadn't gone too far out of our way, so we turned around and found the trail again.
The top of the gondola had great views down to Brixen, a nice restaurant, and a dog bar, so we stopped for a few minutes before continuing on to Plosehutte. We then continued on up the mountain where we got our first views of the Dolomites, rather than whatever mountain range Brixen is in. Wow! They are GORGEOUS!!!! The rest of the hike had great views of the Dolomites and was substantially less steep (although still had another 400m of climb), and we stumbled into Plosehutte with enough time to shower before dinner.
Stretching 5:00 
After an awesome dinner, we all stumbled up to our room for bed. I hadn't had a chance to stretch yet, but everyone else seemed ready to sleep, so I sort of awkwardly stretched in the dark after the lights were out. Hopefully I didn't bother anyone!