Our European Tour - Second time around!! travel blog

There be snow ahead

Alpine village

Waiting for the snow?

Craggy peaks

French Alps

Hotel sun deck

Did I say it was cold?

In Chamonix

They ski down that?

Chamonix central

Where's the hotel?

I wonder how cold the water is?

View of Mont Blanc from hotel balcony

Key words for today are COLD, MOUNTAINS, SNOW, COLD, ALPINE, COLD. Did I mention it is COLD? Woke up this morning and the lake is shrouded in mist and fog. The temp is down around -2C. Doesn't look too promising for the drive to Chamonix (http://www.chamonix.com/welcome,0,en.html). After a quick breakfast we say goodbye to Hotel Beau Site and Lake Annecy to head off up to Chamonix. Before long the fog has disappeared to be replaced by clear blue skies and sunshine (temp is still cold - about 2C). Its not long before we catch our first glimpses of snow capped mountains ahead. We are driving along a broad flat valley, surrounded by rocky, craggy peaks, still devoid of snow. Along the way are numerous small alpine villages. Climbing up through 1000 meters, the temp is soon dropping into -ve figures again. Building roofs are covered with light dustings of snow, making for quite picturesque scenes.

As we climb higher up the valley, more snow capped peaks are visible - we are well and truly in the Alps. Now comes the scary bit - going down into the valley. The road has turned into a goat track, with numerous hairpin bends with sheer drop-offs (judging by the white nuckles Julie doesn't seem to be enjoying this part of the journey). However we make it safely to the bottom, and soon we are onto a major highway for the rest of the trip into Chamonix.

Chamonix proves to be everything you would expect of a major ski destination. Chalets, hotels, towering peaks, and chair lifts going off in all directions (all closed at this time of the year).

The hotel proves to be fairly easy to find and it isn't long before we are checking in to Hotel Les Aiglons (http://www.bestwestern.fr/en/hotel-Chamonix-Mont-blanc,Best-Western-Hotel-Les-Aiglons-Resort---Spa,93595).

Its such a bright sunny day (although quite cold) we decide to take a walk around the town to take in the sights. Although its Sunday, there are lots of people out and about. Cafes are open and doing a brisk business. It's not long before we are sitting in the sun enjoying a glass of red and one of the best pizzas I've had in a long while.

One day may not be long enough to fully enjoy all that Chamonix has to offer, but we've seen enough to appreciate it for its beauty and charm.

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