Chamolix did not disappoint. We came here to explore the Alps and hike around Mont Blanc. It was spectacular. On our first day, we did a short hike up to the Chalet la Floria. This hike concludes with a pretty special chalet covered in flowers overlooking the valley below and panoramic views of the Mont Blanc range on the opposing side. We decided to capture the moment by drinking a Perrier and soaking it in.
That night we went out for dinner at a traditional French restaurant where we had our first fondue experience. The waitress brought us a heaping plate of raw beef. Melissa and I both like beef, but only in small quantities. However, the pile of raw cubed beef before us was staring us down like the bull in the arena in Madrid (bad analogy, but it was a lot of meat). We did our best to finish off the pile, but we fell short. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and the food was delish.
We awoke the next morning ready to catch the tram to the top of Aigulle du Midi, which offers incredible views of glaciers, cliffs and classic alpine landscapes. As we walked out onto one of the observatory deck we looked up and saw a guy standing on the edge of a cliff wearing a skin suit. I got the camera rolling just in time to see him jump off and float down the mountain side. It was mind blowing. I used to think I could do this if I didn’t have four kids and a wife. However, after watching it in person I am now certain there is no way I have the guts to make that jump.
After a midway descent down the mountain, we hiked along the range to another glacier flow (well off the beaten path). Melissa and I sat on a cliff edge and soaked in the moment. There were waterfalls, towering needle peaks, picturesque clouds, and of course a river of glacial flow. The descent from this point was stunning, but pretty tough on the joints. We filled this time debating whether or not this particular tree was deciduous or coniferous. It is an amazing tree that turns bright yellow and loses its needles. After we returned to a wifi connection, we learned this species of tree (larch) is a conifer that loses its leaves- we had never even heard of this—a deciduous conifer!
Another high point was when we briefly spotted a wild ibex. As I pulled out the camera to capture the creature, it scurried off. I pursued, camera in hand, trying to get another glimpse through the lens. I heard a screech, somewhat similar to a hawk, and then saw it bound out of sight (I was only 30 feet away, but couldn’t see it until it moved because it was so well camouflaged). We were so ignorant of this goat-like beast that we did a little research and learned that it often chirps as a warning signal. I only wish I could have been able to snap a picture.
|We thought it was only appropriate to drink Perrier at the Chalet de Floria|
On to Geneva…