Happy new year! Here is the first post of 2016!
Everyone visiting Europe has their very own Jungfrau or Mont Blanc moment. Well, this winter trip (read here) started with mine. Not once, but twice.
1. The Easy Jet Flight
Our EasyJet pilot from Nice to Geneva took us around the summit. One full round. And I was seated perfectly on the left side window of the flight. A day of clear skies, I was first treated to the snow clad Alps range. A couple of minutes later, the captain announced, “Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls – we are now passing Mont Blanc on our left.”
What followed was cries of “C’est magnifique“… “Superb“. With fresh snow dumping over the previous two days, it looked like a pristine untraveled virgin land. A short clip would have made some justice to what we saw, but most of you know how slow I am. Given my turn around time, that will follow a little later.. For now, here is a shot from the flight window from the MotoG.
2. Aiguille Du Midi, Chamonix, France
The original way for a tourist. Chamonix is a small touristy town at the base of Mont Blanc. A one hour bus ride from Geneva. When you reach the ticket counter of the cable car, you realize that you are in for a royal pricey ride ( € 59 from base and back)! A 20 minute cable car ride divided into two levels takes you to 3777m. This level boasts of man-made terraces that offer a 360° view of the French, Italian and Swiss Alps.
A lift will take you to 3842m from where you will have an unrestricted view of Mont Blanc in the south. The major attraction at 3842m is the Step Into The Void glass cage cut over a 1000m precipice of the mountain. The board reads – ‘Not for the faint hearted’.
But then there are some people who jump with wings (base jumping). I caught one. Here is a clip I took at 3842m. The Glass box in the background!!
Attractions at 3777m include – a restaurant (try the hot chocolate cafe by the window seat) & a souvenir shop, an adventure sports museum and beautiful terraces.
Once done with the summit excursion, there is a souvenir and coffee shop at the base. Eat and drink something. Because the high-altitude-oxygen-deficient air gives you a lingering headache.
Chamonix is a small and beautiful town. Houses are characterized by sloping roofs to drain the snow/ rain and dark colors to keep the interiors warm. The town also has restaurants serving traditional French and Swiss dishes. Dig into some cheese fondue, raclette and hot wine.
PS: The super expensive Mont Blanc pens have nothing to do with this peak!
That pretty much sums up my Mont Blanc moments. I plan to post a video too, but that needs some learning first!