Discovering mythical creatures at Lèch di Giai

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Eivane are mythical creatures who are said to live at the foot of Cime d'Auta, in the emerald green lake located in a basin formed in the crater of an extinct volcano. According to legend, these water spirits attracted young people through a magical song which made men throw their religious ornaments into the lake; some say you can hear their calls during heavy summer storms.

The story goes that a boy curiously went to the shores of the lake one day to see the mysterious Eivane with his own eyes. As soon as he heard their songs, dwarves sprang from the rocks and shot the young man with their arrows, transforming him into a stream that still exists along the path leading up to the Lèch of Giaitoday today!

We start from the picnic area just above the village of Sottoguda and take path no.668, which takes about an hour to reach the fabulous Franzei.

These ancient mountain pastures are still full of mountain huts today, and these classic wooden huts once offered shelter to farmers during haymaking. On the fields, we hear the pastoral sound of cowbells and whistling marmots that immediately launch their alarm to alert the group, then vanish as soon as they are spotted! 

With the sound of a gurgling stream, we go on until we find a path that goes up along the woods. For a moment we watch a squirrel climb a tree. Surrounded by the sounds of nature, we continue to relax then we glimpse at the lake, and it all looks like a painting! The dolomitic rock on one side is merging with the volcanic rock on the other. Peace reigns supreme here, and the quietness is interrupted by ibexes shuffling the stones around among the Auta rocks.

We renew our strength by eating our packed lunch, and then we go down into the valley, with our heads still full of these extraordinary images.

 

Photo credits: Elisa De Nardin

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