A tourist in Chamonix

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July 20th 2006
Published: August 18th 2006
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La Dolce Vita!!!La Dolce Vita!!!La Dolce Vita!!!

Again up in Aguille du Midi, not a shred of a cloud, and the Mont Blanc right behind me, who needs more than that?
When I went to Aiguille du Midi yesterday I bought a 2-day multi-pass for the cable cars around. So today was packed with going up & down the mountains. I decided to do a short hike that started in Plan d'Aiguille, the middle station on the way up. I arrived at 8am, and there were no queues. The sky was perfectly clear and I decided to make another short visit up there. In the morning the lights are different so it's another angle, and anyway it's all breath-taking, so why not see it again?
The short hike to Lac Bleu and Mer du Glace was a fine walk with lovely views. I put on my music and enjoyed the morning cool air. Afterwards it became quiet hot - in fact everybody talks here about 'le chaleur': in the last few days France is facing very hot weather.
Arriving at Mer du Glace (which is a glacier of course) I took another short cable-car to the ice cave. It's very touristy, but, hey, I'm a tourist now! :-)
There's a very old train going down to Chamonix. In fact it's amazing to think that all these things started more than 100 years
A sea of MountainsA sea of MountainsA sea of Mountains

Doesn't it look like that?
ago. I hope the mechanical technology was good enough... Probably on purpose, the train still looks old, you'd think you're in some 3rd world country...
My next cable car was near Argentiere, called Les Grands Montets. Much fewer people come here, no Japanese groups (I apologize to Japan if I sound racist. I have nothing against you guys. I just read a Japanese book and loved it! What I don't like is groups, no matter of which nationality). In the cable car there was a guy with a huge bag, and together with another woman they went out to the glacier. I wondered how they would climb a mountain with the huge bag, but then I saw them: the paragliders. They are taking off at the tip of the glacier. The warm wind currents were apparently amazing as they were going higher and higher. Beautiful! I also saw there something that looked like a take off place for hangliding, although I didn't see any. Did I mention the story of my taxi driver who hanglided all the way from Mont Blanc summit after getting there with a helicopter? Unfortunately it's not allowed anymore.
Another exciting sight was Col du Balme, the beginning of the TMB, that first day, 9 days ago, and the lake we saw from the Fenetre d’Arpette in the second day. And then I saw also Lac Blanc, the place we went to before the trek. The last 2 days were a nice summary of the whole tour.
I decided to save some money and spend the night in Les Houches with Ron and Dana, as it was already paid as a part of the trek. It's a little town just down the valley. Fortunately, the company that booked for us definitely spoiled us for the last night. We stayed in a beautiful little Chambre d'hote (B&B, plus D for dinner). We had our own en-suite room! The room had 2 separate parts, so we each had some privacy. And there were towels and clean sheets and the bathroom was so beautiful... dinner was home made and excellent, and breakfast was generous. It was truly a nice goodbye to the Mont Blanc area.

The last day in Chamonix was a leisure day. I did one round in the luge d'ete that I so adore, I bought the very colourful sneakers I wanted since we arrived here, and I hanged around in Chamonix with Ron and Dana (after they came back from the Aguille du Midi). And then we picked up our bags and left the Mont Blanc, going to Geneva, going home…

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


A nice little walkA nice little walk
A nice little walk

On the way from Aguille de Midi to Montenvers, this is a real balcony walk, so nice and easy after the TMB :-)
It's a walk with a viewIt's a walk with a view
It's a walk with a view

Looking back at the Mont Blanc and Aguille du Midi
Still a walk with a viewStill a walk with a view
Still a walk with a view

I don't know which mountain it was, just above Mer de Glace
The kitsch ice cave in Mer de GlaceThe kitsch ice cave in Mer de Glace
The kitsch ice cave in Mer de Glace

With psychedelic ever changing colours
Again looking at the Mont BlancAgain looking at the Mont Blanc
Again looking at the Mont Blanc

This time from Les Grands Montets
Lac D'EmossonLac D'Emosson
Lac D'Emosson

Feels like meeting an old friend
Le Glacier d'AregentiereLe Glacier d'Aregentiere
Le Glacier d'Aregentiere

From Les Grands Montets
The paraglidersThe paragliders
The paragliders

Setting off above Chamonix valley

18th August 2006

ÞÙéÔÙ ÛÐß âÕéÔ ×ÙÙÝ ÑÒÑÔÙÝ!!!!!! êÔàÙ ÞÕêç! àéÙçÕê
23rd August 2006

Les Drus
The mountain which looks like a pyramid above the mer de glace is called les drus (http://www.pays-mont-blanc.com/photos/aiguilles-verte-sans-nom-drus.php). It's a very famous place for alpinism. Let's say, once you'll make it you'll be called Madame :)

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