Blogs from Chamonix, Rhône-Alpes, France, Europe

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Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix September 19th 2023

Well, today was a beauty in so many ways. The chateau de Trigance sits at the top of a hill and has an unbelievable view of the surrounding area. We woke up to the sun peeking over the mountains with the valley shrouded in fog. After breakfast we headed out through the gorges. The road brought us down to the bottom of the canyon with the hairpin turns that Diane loves so much. The views were spectacular, however, we all agreed it was not like the Grand Canyon. The road continued to bring us up and down the surrounding mountains for about two hours before hitting a highway. I think by that time we were all ready for some flat roadway. Around 12:30, after driving for over 3 hours, we decided it was time for lunch ... read more

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix September 16th 2023

For the grand finale of my Alpine summer, there could only be one choice: the Tour du Mont Blanc. Stretching for around 170km (depending on which variants are followed) through three countries while circumnavigating the highest mountain in Western Europe, the route is one of the most famous multi-day walks in the world. Most people start and finish in the small town of Les Houches (7km down-valley from Chamonix) and take around 11 days, following the circuit anti-clockwise so as to finish along the Grand Balcon Sud - a high belvedere path following the northern flank of the Arve (Chamonix) Valley (through the mountains of the Aiguilles Rouge) offering endless views of needle-sharp peaks separated by the icy tongues of numerous glaciers, while heading straight towards the highest peak of them all. A wide array of ... read more
Glacier-clad Peak
Balcony Path
Cliff-hugging Trail

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix June 8th 2019

A beautiful last day in Chamonix and we were lucky in that our last day here was the opening day for the Brevent lift system summer season. It is a two-stage system that on a clear day provides great views of the whole region and of Mont Blanc - and today was a crystal clear day. Saw lots of hang gliders and watched them taking off. Got some video action that we can share if anyone is interested (the blog doesn't support video). This adventure is just about wrapped up. Take a bus to Geneva tomorrow morning. Our first time, albeit brief, in Switzerland and then fly to Amsterdam in the afternoon. Monday morning head back to SFO. Take off at noon and land at 2:00 pm - only a 2 hr flight if you forget ... read more
Heading up mountain on the first lift
Steep climb
Le Brevent from below

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix June 7th 2019

Got the "money shots" today with pictures. Will let the pictures do most if the talking. We did: - Train ride to Montenvers and Mer de Glace (which at one time was the largest glacier in Europe) - Telepherique ride to du Plan de l'Aiguille - that is only mid-point to what should have been our final destination but 60 mph winds would not all us to go to the top - maybe tomorrow. ... read more
Train!
Mer de Glace
Mer de Glace

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix June 6th 2019

Mother nature took over today and the mountains were hidden in the clouds. There was more mist than rain but it highlighted a different kind of mountain beauty. It also changed some of the outdoor plans. Took a train ride to a town at the Swiss boarder. Didn't go into Switzerland for a number of reasons - but it was a delightful journey that included seeing lots of meat villages, homes, and a mile-long tunnel! In the afternoon took a relatively short hike out of Chamonix to a waterfall nestled in the mist - but left the camera in the flat - sorry! ... read more
Views from our flat - compare with the cloudless pictures

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix June 5th 2019

Blog took a day off yesterday and so did we. Decided to just rest a bit - and just enjoy the views. The blogs will also be shorter as the internet speed reminds one of a dial-up modem. The pictures will need to be worth "1000" words. Today' hike was upstream along the Arve river that flow down this valley. Once you leave Chamonix you pass through a couple of small towns but most of the time you're in the forest, listening to the river, with beautiful views on both sides. It reminds one of Yosemite - but the mountains are much closer and bigger! OK at this point it took 30 min to upload one photo at low resolution. May try again later if not we'll share Chamomix pics when we get home next week☹️ ... read more
A view
Another view
The Mont Blanc Express

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix June 3rd 2019

The original objective for this travel adventure was to hike in the French Alps - we checked that off the bucket list today! We hiked from Chamonix to a little "cafe" located in the forest on the hillside overlooking the valley. The hike was a continuous, but never too steep, climb of about 1000ft over 2.5 miles. Going up got our attention but arriving at "la Floria" was the reward. One should note that the only way to get to this cafe is to take a 5 mi, up-hill hike - a rather interesting business model, but one that apparently works - must have something to do with the view. We had crepes and coffee overlooking the valley in the truly remarkable setting. This one we'll never forget. After lunch we took the valley train to ... read more
On our way to the trail
On the trail
Looking down on Chamonix

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix June 2nd 2019

Another traveling day - and finally we are in the French Alps. Comfortable, quiet bus trip took about 1 1/2 hrs with great views the entire way. Only one stop in a small town. Lush green countryside - very neat and clean with very modern roadways and a number of tolls. The mountains began to surround us as we left Annecy and continued to grow on each side of the valley. Shortly before we reached Chamonix we passed the entrance to the Mont Blanc tunnel (it is about 7 miles long) that takes you under the mountain into Italy! If we continue up the valley passed Chamonix we'd be in Switzerland! We're on the very edge of France. Chamonix looks like it will be a very nice place to spend the week. On first glance you ... read more
On the road to Chamonix
On the road to Chamonix
On the road to Chamonix

Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix September 3rd 2013

Summer in Chamonix I have been to Chamonix a few times before but only in winter for skiing trips, so when the idea of a lads weekend mountain biking was floated Chamonix seemed the perfect destination. If anything Chamonix is even more beautiful in the summer than the winter!! As it was the first time a few of our group had been to the alps we decided that on the first day we should get the cable car upto the Aiguille du Midi viewing platform which is at an impressive3,842 m and offers an amazing view of the Chamonix Valley and overlooks the towering Mt Blanc. You get a great view of the climbers trying to summit Mt Blanc from the viewing platform and the cable car still hold the record for the most vertical lift ... read more
Cham2
Cham3
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Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix June 10th 2013

June 10 I have visited Chamonix in February, and surely decided to return there in summer. I told Luda, we have to choose between Chamonix and Nice, which one do you prefer? She answered, let’s go to Chamonix. I replied, you’ll love the place. She did. It turned out that during our stay only two of the lifts would be working – Montenvers train and Aiguille du Midi lift. Others would start working from June 15, just after our leave. An unpleasant occurrence, but there were fewer people. Arrived in Genève, we wasted two whole hours in having a coffee and trying to find the baggage storage. The baggage storage within the station was out of service, and we asked an official for help. ‘It is between tracks number 4 and 5’. We were stupid enough ... read more
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Mer de Glace
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