Saturday, November 18, 2006

Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Gah - I seem to have given up on this blogging business again. I think I'm still tired after my last mammoth post, I'm only just recovering...

Took a few trips around Switzerland since Lauterbrunnen, firstly to Chamonix-Mont Blanc (which is actually in France) and also to Bern. I didn't really take any photos I am pleased with from either of these two trips (another reason for the lack of updates) Still, I'll throw up a few to show what the places were like.

Chamonix is a town at the base of Mont Blanc, and it's the main gateway for climbing it, or taking the cable car to close to the top. Me and a couple of others went early on Saturday morning, from a horrible run-down station on the outskirts of Geneva which is used by the French rail company. The journey wasn't too bad, it took just under three hours - it's recommended by the tourist office to take the bus, as it's faster and more direct, but it's also much more expensive.

Chamonix was probably once a small village, but now is little more than a service centre for the thousands (probably millions!) of tourists that pass through it each year. There's a fine selection of food, and enough ski/sport shops to clothe the entire population of Europe in overpriced skiing gear from head to toe. Seriously.

Chamonix, with Mont-blanc in the background.

It must be said, it is actually quite a nice town...

Unfortunately, the cable car to the top station (which goes to an impressive 3800 metres) was closed due to high winds that day, so we had to make do with the lower station, Plan D'Aguille. The views from there were impressive, but it was definitely a dissapointment not to get to the top after coming all that way. The sky was an eerily uniform white due to the large amount of clouds, so I didn't get many nice photos:

The cable car station at Plan D'Aguille. They really do love their cable cars here in the Alps!

Some more mountains - I think this was taken from Chamonix, not higher up.

Another one of those fancy HDR images.

A glacier running down from Mont Blanc

And that was it, pretty much. It was a nice day out, even counting the dissapointment of not getting to the top. I'll have to go back and try again!