In July I finally visited one of the regions that has been on my bucket list for a long time: the Italian Dolomites. The place is filled with uniquely shaped mountains and lakes and forests and… Well, you can understand how it ended up on my bucket list. Since I was going to spend my holidays with friends and family in Udine, which is near the Slovenian border, we only got to pass through the Dolomites on our way to and from Udine. A famous place in the Dolomites is Lake Braies (aka Lago di Braies aka Pragser Wildsee) which is a gorgeous emerald coloured lake surrounded by mountains. As we were driving towards Udine, we visited it for the first time. The sun was shining and goodness was it gorgeous. And subsequently filled with tourists. There were people everywhere: walking, having drinks, sitting in boats… There was no way I could have made a self portrait then and there without other people in it. So I didn’t. And afterwards I kept thinking about it.
Fast forward to the end of our holiday, when we drove homewards through the Dolomites again and I noticed the sign saying ‘Lago di Braies’. Casually (*cough*) I mentioned it to my friend behind the steering wheel. He said “Do you want to go?” and a little bit later we saw the lake for the second time. This time it was raining and this had cleared out a lot of the tourists. As we got closer and closer to the lake, it started raining harder and harder. Boats were brought to the side and every sane person there ran frantically from the rain and sought shelter. Enter Els! After some other self portraits, I found myself on the other side of the lake, climbing a slippery rock, while my friend helped me out at the tripod with my camera. And helped me off the rock in order for me not to die. This wonderful place suddenly belonged to only us. To me this is a beautiful memory and a sign of true friendship, when you have someone there who enables your crazy obsessions, especially when these obsessions involve running about in the pouring rain.