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Published: August 11th 2006
High high almost in the sky
Well not that high maybe :-) This is at Pointe Helbronner, still in France (the border is the entrance to the cafe), and the great glacier called "Glacier de Geant" behind me
It started when I heard of the 120 missiles attack. Suddenly the mood wasn't high anymore. My state of mind changed completely. My heart was in Israel, not in the TMB anymore. When the spirit is low, everything bothers me. I felt lonely. I couldn't go on.
However, I still did another one day, on Sunday. It was relatively easy. We started climbing from the refuge along a lovely valley called Vallon de la Lee Blanche, to Col de la Seigne, crossing back to France. On the way up we had magnificent views behind us and Ron was walking almost backwards, holding the camera and taking pictures.
We reached our refuge for today already at 12:30, and indulged ourselves with lunch at the restaurant instead of the usual bread and cheese lunch. The rabbit I had was very tasty!
On Sunday night the mood went even lower, so I decided to stop for one day. Unfortunately, it was a bad choice of a day. Instead of walking less than 20 km, I faced more than a 120 km on the road, mostly in small mountain roads. Well with a short lift and a long taxi drive I made it, arrived
to the next destination. Unfortunately again, my spirit stayed down. I had long phone calls with Shai, mom & Tammy, and the last one persuaded me - I quit the trek. If I'm unhappy, I have to do something different. I considered a few ideas like going to Lyon or even Paris, but eventually chose to stay around, and go to have fun in Chamonix. The more the decision sank in, the better I felt. Yes, that was the right thing to do.
So in the morning I said goodbye to Ron & Dana, and went my own way.
The next decision was: spoil myself. I took a room in a real hotel, just me and myself tonight, no dorms. After the fortune I spent on the taxi, everything seems meaningless :-)
And what did I do in my new position as a tourist? I took the famous cable car to Aiguille du Midi. Of course, I wasn't the only one. The place was packed with Japanese tourists (and some representatives of other nationalities...) It took ages to go up, packed like sardines in the queue and in the cabin, but there was a good reason.
A little history:
I've been here before. I think it was 99. We went up to Aiguille du Midi, but the next cable car, an amazing panoramic gondola connecting France & Italy (pte. Helbronner), was closed because of winds. Then I came here again, 1-2 years later. The lines at the bottom were horrible and they were selling tickets for the afternoon. There was no guarantee that the Helbronner gondola will work then, so we passed.
And so I'm here again. And today everything is perfect. The gondola floats over the sea of ice. Many people are walking down there - some are on their way to the Mont Blanc summit, some just walking on a glacier. The glacier is huge. I always feel minimized by nature when I see these things - high mountains, the glaciers. The crevasses add to this feeling, showing how treacherous the glacier can be. Beware of Mother Nature. It's stronger than us.
On the Italian side I enjoyed identifying our trail - it was all there in front of me, the ridge of Mont de la Saxe from day 5, Courmayeur, and the balcony trail of day 6. I also enjoyed a cup of rich Italian hot
Col de la Seigne - not yet the border!
The sign clearly marks - France is 42m away...
Back in Chamonix, in the hotel, I watch some TV and then go to an Internet cafe, which brings me back to the Israeli reality. I can't detach myself from it. Well, everybody I talk to, who asks where I'm from, comments about the situation. I think about it a lot. I almost feel ashamed that I am having fun. It's all so tough.
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