Tour du Mont Blanc, for real!

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July 10th 2006
Published: July 12th 2006
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Yeah! here we start!!!Yeah! here we start!!!Yeah! here we start!!!

Taking a "before" picture, in Le Tour
In fact, we tricked right away... from the beginning... Dana's knees weren't doing very well and after contemplating the whole morning, she asked to take the cable-car to Col du Balme. We climbed several hundred meters in just 15 minutes. Fun... The view from the top is amazing - of course. France is on one side and Switzerland is on the other. A small stone marks the border. Crossing it I can't help thinking of World War 2. Were there any Jews climbing here trying to sneak through to Switzerland? Or maybe this point was too easy to get to and therefore guarded? They definitely couldn't use the cable car, that's one thing I'm sure about.
So now we really start walking. A very long descent is ahead of us. As we go the valley opens for us, we see our destination for today, Trient, but it's not getting close. It's a long way down...
Eventually we arrived. We found the gîte we were booked for and our room - a 12 bed dorm, not the nicest I've been to. But then, maybe an hour later, surprise! They kindly ask us if we are willing to move to another room. They
Last view of Chamonix valley (for a while)Last view of Chamonix valley (for a while)Last view of Chamonix valley (for a while)

Before we cross the Col de Balme (Col = mountain pass in French), last look at the Chamonix Valley (till we come back from the other side)
say we can check before we decide. We find that it's a 3 bed private room, perfect for us. We got lucky... We'll be able to sleep well before our big day tomorrow, maybe the toughest in the entire trek.
Dinner is served in the gîte. As a good French dinner, it took almost 3 hours, which gave us enough time to make acquaintance with our neighbours. Sitting next to me was the crazy Frenchie... She was truly funny on the border of being strange, for example when she almost took my dessert. Food wasn't bad, with a nice vegetable soup, fresh salad (really unexpected), lousy meat dish that I can't really describe, and good lemon sorbet and vanilla ice cream that I managed to save from the crazy one...

(The post was written in real time on my pocket PC and posted in an Internet-Cafe at La Fouly, Switzerland. Pictures will be added when I get home)

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


The Franco-Swiss borderThe Franco-Swiss border
The Franco-Swiss border

This small stone is the border. At the top I'm looking at Switzerland and France is behind me, at the bottom Switzerland is behind
It's a long (and beautiful) way downIt's a long (and beautiful) way down
It's a long (and beautiful) way down

And you see here nothing... there's a lot more
Dana & me: drinkingDana & me: drinking
Dana & me: drinking

Just water this time (at dinners it was a different story)
Trient is still far down...Trient is still far down...
Trient is still far down...

We get to see it between the trees
And I'm writing the blogAnd I'm writing the blog
And I'm writing the blog

Writing at the end of every day...

17th January 2008

Awesome pics
Fantastic pics of walk. If anyone else is inspired to do the walk there's a non-commercial web site which gives lots of advice on how to go about it. We're planning to do the walk in the summer and found the site the only place that had all the information we needed - ie all the stuff that tends not to be in the guides. Hope to post our pics in August! : ) .

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