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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chamonix - Mont Blanc

We woke up early in the next morning, at around 6.30 am. Husband said we need to travel far to Chamonix-Mont Blanc, located in south eastern France. And it would take around 2.5 hours.

Before checking out, we went downstairs to take a buffet breakfast. One thing worth mentioning about the hotel that we choose when we travel in Europe region. Novatel Hotel or Mercure Hotel are always our number 1 choice for they have family rooms equipped with sofa bed that fit for 4 person. Furthermore, they give discount rate to CP staff, sometimes up to 40% discount.

At around 7.30 am, we were on the way to Chamonix. Although it was not a clear sky yet, the weather was fairy good.

The motor way was surrounded by alps, and there are quite some scenes along the road, for example, small castle on top of a small hill. Cool.

and the houses are stacked around the hill.

everywhere but hills and mountains....

After driving for 2 hours, husband said we were close to Italy-France border now.

This is probably the last village before crossing the France border.

The intersection that divides France and Italy. Also, it's a toll station.

The Mont Blanc Tunnel is a road tunnel in the Alps under the Mont Blanc mountain, linking France and Italy. Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the Mont Blanc Tunnel is approximately 12 km long.

It is quite a pressure to drive through a long tunnel like this. When accident happens, things can get really devastating. For instance, in 24 March 1999, 39 people died when a Belgian transport truck carrying flour and margarine caught fire in the tunnel. There is a touching story behind the tragedy, of which an Italian security guard (Pierlucia Tinazzi) perished while rescuing survivors of this tunnel fire. Tinazzi's heroism and bravery had saved 10 people from the fire.

Yes, finally in France.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, or more commonly known as Charmonix, is a commune in the Rhone-Alpes region in south eastern France.

Chamonix is one of the world's most famous skiing and snowboarding area. Having hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924, skiers and snowboarders of all levels are well-served in a variety of differing areas around Chamonix

Husband stopped by a town to buy us a 2-day pass (family ticket for 2 adults + 2 children, cost €165). The multipass will grant us unlimited access to all sites and areas within Compagnie du Mont-Blanc area for consecutive 2 days.

The mountain site is so foggy like it was caught in fire or something.

Since we had stopped, might as well take a walk around the town.

In front of a restaurant that I absolutely couldn't pronounce its name.

The time was 11.10 am

A church that we didn't enter.

The heart of the town.

The Chamonix lift system consists of several distinct and very different ski areas high above a steep-sided valley where the town and its villages are located.
Husband said we should make full use of the multipass. There are more than 10 lifts to different peaks, and he hope we could at least cover 3-4 peaks out there. Sounds reasonable.

Up there, were quite some scenes too.

The boys were thrilled to take the cable car to high mountain again. Actually, so do I

The cable car that will take us to Le Brevent (elevation : 2525 m).

It goes up quite fast.

Looking up....

The boys like to look up than look down...is it a good sign?

Looking down...

The middle part. Most people will go up by taking the cable car, but some will walk all the way to here.

Going up some more...and see the landscape is getting more rugged.

About 15 minutes later, we reached the top of Planpraz-Brevent Cable Car (2525 m). I wonder how long does it take if one to walk up to that altitude?
As soon as we walked out from the cable car, the first sensation I had had was feeling extremely cold. The temperature up here is 8C compare to the ground temperature, 20-22C.

The panorama view is spectacular though it was not a clear sky yet. The scene is a lot more beautiful than the camera can capture.

I feel great to stand on top of the clouds, even higher than the clouds.

There is a hiking trail leading back to the mountain feet, we think it's worth going for a short walk though not all the way to the feet.

Walking down the fire trail is not very tough, but dangerous if not watching our steps carefully. We need to constantly remind the boys not to go too near to the side of steep ravine.

The boys wanted to play snow here...To them, this was their destination.

While they were playing in the snow pool, we took the photos around this area....

It is very nice to sit here to enjoy the cool-fresh air, and admire the surrounding beauty at the same time.
Sometimes, I would think : what have I done to deserve this?

Son was not willing to let go of the snow ball that he had made. He actually was thinking how to take it back to HK. And he find his solution a few days later.

Scare the hell everytime I saw them walk that near to the edge.

Finally, William threw his snow ball to the ravine from here. And we walked back to the top.

At first, we wanted to take lunch in the restaurant located at the mountain top, but the clouds were too thick to give a nice view if we were to dine there. So, we decided to descent to the middle level, hoping the clouds are less thick at lower elevation.

The opposite side is the famous Aguille Du Midi and Mont Blanc.

Waited for the cable car to come to pick us.

Down there is the midlevel cable car station.

Within 5 minutes time, we landed on this midlevel restaurant.

Although there are some warm tables inside the restaurant, we prefer to sit outside.

The clouds were not too thick at the midlevel, we could see the tip of the mountain at times, a super-duber wonderful view.

While waiting for our foods to come, it's free activity time...
This son will never give up. He would check every telescope that he encountered everywhere to see if it works without putting in coins. Over 95%, he won't get to see anything. But this time, I heard him shouting : mom, you got to come over here to take a look....So, I went over, my my, this telescope was working out fine for him. Yeah, that's the good point about not giving up.

Finally, all of the foods that husband had ordered arrived. We gobbled the foods fast. Although the foods were nothing too special, but hot enough to give us warm feeling.

Set lunch 1 : hot sausages + potato wedges + orange juice + ice cream

Set lunch 2 : chicken fillet in mushroom soup + potato wedges + bread + fruit dessert

After finishing up the fruit dessert, we boarded the cable car and went back to the ground. From there, we headed to our next destination


Gargles said...

mun yee! you deserved this! again and again and again, 100 times over, ok?

having said that, i have to admit, I AM REAL JEALOUS!!!! what have i done to deserve genting highlands oni??? *bawls!!!!*

jessylee said...

thx Gargles.

I think it's because I have married to an airline staff that give us the opportunity to travel far. Nothing to do with the question of "deserve" or "not deserve", right?

The way I see it, every place is a good place if you go there with the ppl you love. So, it really doesn't matter where you go....

I tell you what, those places I have gone to will become less meaningful and fun if I weren't go there with my family lo..

of course I admit I will feel more interested to the place I have never been before.

Herme Hew said...

Mun Yee, you deserved this the most!
Because you recorded every journey with pictures and captions for sharing. I enjoy reading your blog very much... Please keep on travelling, blogging and sharing, will take it as my reference if I have chance to go there 1 day...
By the way, I enjoyed reading Gargies's blog too, but disappointedly she has closed her door to others, any chance to ask her for permission to visit her again?

jessylee said...

Thx Herme. Glad to hear you enjoy my journey log.

I blog for fun only, also for future viewing pleasure.

I will tell Gargles about your intention. I'm sure she will accept you later. Will drop a message to you in FB, ok?

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