Monday 24th August 2020
Our journey today is about 45 minutes with not much change in altitude. We are heading to Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc. We consider this as far east as we will go in the French Alps. Tomorrow we are taking a two-part cable car trip that takes us to Aiguille du Midi which is the nearest you can get to Mont Blanc itself without climbing equipment. There is a third cable car run across a glacier, Glacier du Geant (The giant Glacier) to Italy, flash our passports then make the return to Chamonix. Quite exciting.
There’s no rush today so once breakfast is out of the way we get the walking boots on and do one hour and a bit of walking, getting quite high up in the hills with some spectacular views. Our walk takes us to a clearing with a lake and a monastery, a huge imposing building, however, we have just missed the chance to go in, closed for lunch, a French 2-hour lunch, shame.
The trip to Chamonix is simple and thankfully uneventful. As we get nearer Mont Blanc comes into view, it’s very impressive and very imposing. Spectacular. The place we are staying is a car-park at the point where we pick up the first cable car. For 16 euros you get a spot in a huge car-park for 24 hours. We are surrounded by other vans and cars.
The town of Chamonix is just a three-minute walk from here so it’s time to explore.
It’s a busy place and it’s compulsory to wear face masks in the street which everyone duly complies with. It’s very strange to walk around a tourist attraction with shops, cafes and hotels and everyone wearing a mask. The times we are in, very sad. There are some spectacular views of Mont Blanc from here. The town has a fast-moving river running through it, grey in colour, pure glacial water. Or is it mercury and cement slurry?
It’s expensive here, as we guessed but it is worth seeing. After an hour or so we make our way back to the van for dinner.
An early night tonight as our lift is at 7 in the morning. Hayley spends the rest of the evening wittering on to Del about cable cars, the dangers, who builds them, and accidents that have happened.