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Tuesday 25th August 2020

Chamonix to Plateau d’Assy – 24km

We slept very well last night in the Chamonix car park at 16 euros. Today we are up early, very early, 6 am early… It’s a chilly morning, a light breakfast and hot coffee will help us start the longish day. Our cable car is booked for 7:10, we get round there with time to spare, it’s already busy with walkers and climbers. Everyone has to wear a mask and are temperature checked as we all get into the car, it’s full and we are slightly nervous.

The first part of this trip takes us to Plan de l’Aiguille which is a fast climb. This is the fastest vertical ascent of a cable car in the world so the base station that we left from is getting smaller quite quickly.

Steep. Very steep

In less than 10 minutes, we are changing cars and taking the second car to do the quick ascent to Aiguille du Midi. This part of the ride is very interesting, the span of nearly 3km has no middle support so the cable sags massively and the cable is at an angle of about 70 degrees near the top, quite scary.

The view once you get out at Aiguille du Midi is simply stunning, amazing. It’s cold -7. There are lots to see up here, exhibitions, and platforms to see Mont Blanc. There is a lift to take us up to an observation platform at 3842m but it is closed for basic repairs. We don’t wait.

The Panoramic Mont Blanc is the next ride. At 32 euros return each this cable car stretches right across from France to Italy, 5kms in total.

Best way to see Mont Blanc

The views are the best we have seen, simply stunning. The cars are small and seat up to 4 people per car and are grouped in bunches of three, as we are a couple we get a car to ourselves. This is without a doubt the best 64 euros we have spent and if you ever get the chance to do it then we can highly recommend it. It is amazing.

The views up here are just some of the best views in the world. Nature at its very best

Once on the Italian side, which is relatively new, we find a very nice and very empty cafe so coffee and hot chocolate with croissants all round. Lovely. The Italian side of this trip is excellent compared to the French side. It’s clean, new and the staff and very friendly and pleased to see you.

We spend a good hour on the Italian side taking in the amazing views around us before getting back on our little cable car and back to France.

Another coffee is had on the way back down to Chamonix with a stop at Plan de l’Aiguille. We are amazed at how many people walk and climb this mountain, there are even people camping further up in small tents at the peak on the glacier. Impressive or mad?

Our morning finishes at around 11am. What a great morning. It cost 98 euros each but worth every single cent to see such a spectacular piece of nature and for the memories we will have.

Time to move on. Tonight we will stay in Plateau d’Assy. The drive there is a challenging 30 mins of steep narrow roads and narrow village streets. Eventually, we level off into a wonderful place with another great view of… Yes, Mont Blanc.

Our view out of the window tonight

Here you can park for 9 euros per night either on hard standing or grass. Today we choose hard standing after filling up with fresh water and all the other services that have to be done when running a motorhome

While finishing our service Hayley has discovered, to her horror, that she has dropped the van keys into the void of the service point just between the toilet emptying point and the walls of the unit, a drop of about a meter… great, good job we have a spare set but what a rubbish way of ending a great day. Hayley is mortified and disappointed and goes for a walk, Del meanwhile is not to be beaten and returns to the scene to see if it is remotely possible to recover the keys. A long pole, some contortion, and recoiling to avoid the stench of toilet Del recovers the keys… Whew. Hayley is smiling and relieved.

To end this wonderful day we have dinner at a local restaurant with a delicious fondue. Amazing.

A fondue dinner…
… and a sunset finish

What will we do tomorrow?

5 Comments

  1. Janet & Tony

    Wow you two, what stunning photos of the fantastic views – thank you!
    Memories of the beautiful scenery will stay with you to cherish forever.
    Pleased you recovered the van keys Del – what a star!
    Thoroughly enjoying your adventures with you so keep safe and enjoy the rest of your trip.

    • deljones

      The keys changed the day for Hayley, she was so upset after a great day. It was one of those “Flot Blu’s” You know the one, you stick a euro in slot and the door open with the hoses in, well she was putting the clean water back when she dropped the keys and they dropped down a gap in the concrete base. Poor thing. I nearly got my head stuck in the cabinet though trying to do the deed! We still say today “Bet Janet and Tony have been here…”

  2. John Knight

    Glad to be doing some of this trip by proxy , hairpin bends and sheer drops on the way to even more terrors in ascending Mont Blanc . I’ll settle for your stunning pictures . Very enjoyable though . Keep safe .

  3. deljones

    Hiya John…
    Yes getting fed up goingup hill and down dale now….

  4. Carol

    We’ve been there to the Aguille Du Midi! I can remember it all so vividly reading your account. Bon voyage!

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