Since I'm obviously no longer in the U.S. ...
Chamonix Travel Blog› entry 4 of 17 › view all entries
July 8th, 2007 – by: jenn79
So I arrived after the stores had closed on Saturday and with no TV, computer or stores open on Sunday (since we are after all in Europe), I decided to do an excursion from the Gare Routiere.
I queued up behind this older pair of ladies who were also taking an excursion and decided to just follow suit. I also met two lovely Canadians on the tour from Toronto who were doing a Medical type conference. Totally cool meeting some English-speaking folks!
For the price, unfortunately, the trip to Mont Blanc/Chamonix was not worth the money. Just the bus ride was 108 francs, but if you take the package, which includes entrance to ice caves, a gondola up to Aiguille Midi which was SO high that people got dizzy, and a lunch at a cute little restaurant with average food, the price more than doubled to 245 francs.
Mont Blanc is a bit of a ski resort, and it's the kind of ski resort that you only read about in books. The chalets (no buildings here, mind you) are made of wood, with large window boxes of flowers that you expect. There are boulangeries and bars everywhere, sporting the most adorable wood designs on the outside of the building. There is so much nestled in the mountains, and no two chalets look the same.
Unfortunately, we didn't stop at the cute places but instead drove straight to Chamonix where the tourist attractions were. These included a walk down into a frozen Hades of 300 stairs (looked more like 1000) to look at a few openings in a glacier that moves about 2mm per hour, a ride up a "gondola" that was nothing short of terrifying hanging 1000 miles above the valley.
The one redeeming thing here are the vistas. For people who are into nature, there is probably no more beautiful place in the world. There are mountains everywhere, many with waterfalls randomly cascading off its sides. Lots of Germans were in full on hiking gear with ice picks and walking staffs. It's as if they climb the mountains for fun on the weekends, which they probably do. That's what I call adventurous..
There were full fledged pine trees growing out of any little nook they could find on these mountains. Like, nature will not be thwarted here! But everything was under a cloud of grey as it would randomly start raining like crazy.
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