Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Mont Blanc experience:episode 2

A visit to Chamonix, the Alpine capital.




Starting from our lodge in Argentiere, a Chamonix village 8 km away from town. In order to go to Chamonix there are buses, which had a small screen showing not only the schedule but the weather report as well! I have never seen something like that. And there is the (for me) more attractive possibility of catching the train, almost acrosss the street from our lodge.

The train is also called the "Mont Blanc Expresss". It is a 15-min ride enjoying the sightseeing. Nice chalets and cottages along the way. And then we were in Chamonix! the lovely town right at the bottom of the Mont Blanc , with all the charm of an authentic mountain town, unlike modern winter sports resorts. Chamonix was the host of the first Winter Olympics in 1924.


This is the view to your left after walking straight from the train station, which is right in the middle of everything. I specially like the fact that the community has kept its original buildings. It certainly looks a lot nicer with blue skies and sunshine, but those days were selected for skiing, not walking! These pics were all taken around 6pm.

Posted by Picasa The above picture shows you the square Place Balmate, the traditional fountain which is right behind the lady in yellow and it marks the town center! Loved the building to the right, reminded me of the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona.


Now you are looking at the way we came from, right at the Place Balmatee.

And the pedestrian zone to the right of the prior picture , rue du Dr. Paccard : creperies, restaurants, all kinds of boutiques and a wide variety of small shops. Just my kind of street... Mr. Balmat and Dr. Paccard were the first ones to ever ascend the Mount Blanc in 1786. Now you know it! And I do too, after watching a film about the "Mont Blanc stars", pioneers who climbed the mountain way back then. And the ladies with proper long skirts! how uncomfortable but how brave to have done that. I myself don't have that adventurous spirit, I'd rather watch (and applaude) people who are like that.




And before we returned to the train station I was able to capture a pic of the carriage as it arrived . A few minutes later you couldn't even see the horse, it was surrounded by tourists! Yes, all those tourists! (lol). Kept hearing different languages, some of them absolutely a puzzle from me. And there were even French tourists among them! Many carrying their skis/snow boards returning home after a tirening but fun day, others like us that day just enjoying a late-afternoon walk in this precious town.

Posted by Picasa

Next stop: the real Mont Blanc experience- the White Valley. This coming weekend. Be here!

other links:
here,
webcams, googlism,
Olympic Games 1924

15 comments:

  1. First:
    Wonderful pics but they make me feel cold LOL, you must be getting cold now lol. Michele sent me once but I keep coming back LOL

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  2. Nice scenery. Are the mountains behind really that close to the buildings? it gave me the shivers just thinking of the danger of an avalanche.

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  3. Scouser: I'll have something for you tomorrow.

    Viamarie: The mountains are not only close and very high, they are also very, very steep. Therefore they are very careful regarding the risks of avalanches.

    Mommy of 4: thank you!

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  4. Oh, these posts make me miss Europe so.

    Wonderful.

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  5. Thanks for stopping by and telling me about this...What a charming beautiful town...And I love that horse and cart...Your Lodge looks so very beautiful with all that snow on it...It really is like out of a movie....
    I'm with you on the street with all the little shops...that's what I want to see, as well as everything else...I love going on this trip with you Mar...I would never see any of this any other way...! I look forward to the mext installment.

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  6. Oh, I would love to be there myself, but since I'm not, I'll live through you and and your lovely walks and pictures!

    I love the horse drown carriage!! And my favorite would be all creperies, restaurants, all kinds of boutiques!! I could spend all day browsing, shopping and sampling!! :)

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  7. Wow, your pics just get better and better. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Love your pix... just gorgeous!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I lived in El Ferrol many many years ago...

    LadyBug

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  9. Gorgeous pics, and no I haven't gone missing I was just out all day lol sorry.
    I did update :)

    I love horse drawn carriages, so romantic.

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  10. Hi again, I'm waiting (BTW it may just be me but your main page theme has gone to pot), Michele sent me once but I keep coming back LOL.

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  11. At one time, my family did all their skiing in Mayerhoffen, Austria. These photos brought back memories of a charming village, beautiful ski area, and majestic mountains. Thank you for sharing and please have a wonderful time. Stay safe and if you fall, may the snow be soft and cushioning.

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  12. It looks like a beautiful place to vacation.

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