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Chamonix Travel Blog

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Mountain range of.. Mont Blanc?
So I arrived at my corporate apartment, which I am super grateful for, but it was seriously lacking in some conveniences. First of all my internet was not working whatsoever. Second, my travel power convertor BLEW UP - flames shooting out of it and everything! Third, there wasn't a clock or a microwave or any piece of equipment with the time on it whatsoever in the apartment (go figure I'm in Switzerland, right?). I had to go buy a piece of shit plastic alarm clock in BRIGHT YELLOW for $18 francs, which I totally could have gotten for 99 cents in chinatown. Ok, maybe a buck and 99. STILL.

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.
Another pretty side street.
There are generally 3 excursions per day that go all over Geneva, and I chose the one into France since it may very well be my only trip that I take here considering the time restraints.

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.
Train ride to Aiguille Midi
I, of course went all out and bought the full package because I figured I might as well.

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.
Frightening to say the least..
I myself only went 2/3rds of the way as it was so high I thought I would have an anxiety attack. And there were a variety of souvenir shops that really sold nothing in particular. I do wish these towns had more crafts. They sold gemstones such as amythest and the requisite Swiss Army knives. Booooring.

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.
AndiPerullo says:
Haha, I agree. That's why before I travel I always learn in the language of the country I'm in how to say "Will you take a picture please?" But, the pictures usually turn out pretty bad...
Posted on: Jul 17, 2007
jenn79 says:
Hahaa! That's the problem with traveling alone!
Posted on: Jul 17, 2007
AndiPerullo says:
Where are the pictures of YOU???
Posted on: Jul 17, 2007
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Mountain range of.. Mont Blanc?
Mountain range of.. Mont Blanc?
Another pretty side street.
Another pretty side street.
Train ride to Aiguille Midi
Train ride to Aiguille Midi
Frightening to say the least..
Frightening to say the least..
Gorgeous valley view from a mounta…
Gorgeous valley view from a mount…
Random waterfalls everywhere on th…
Random waterfalls everywhere on t…
This is a glacier!!
This is a glacier!!
Moving glacier with caves
Moving glacier with "caves"
On the way to the Ice Caves..
On the way to the Ice Caves..
And you can see where the glacier …
And you can see where the glacier…
Another great shot of what it woul…
Another great shot of what it wou…
Some formidable mountain ranges..
Some formidable mountain ranges..
The gondola in front of us.
The gondola in front of us.
Beautiful town of Chamonix
Beautiful town of Chamonix
Across from the Rail station..
Across from the Rail station..
A donkey!!
A donkey!!
Chamonix
photo by: mountaingirl