Goodness, Chamonix was perfect.
Ben and I left London first thing Monday morning and hopped a flight to Geneva. From there we took a bus to Chamonix Lodge, our lovely abode for the next few days. The drive was a slight glimpse to the views that were to come weaving in and out of valleys with snow cap mountains all around.
After settling in we both plopped ourselves into a hammock for a nap, some reading, and some mountain viewing. After a very early morning and travel day we decided to relax at the chalét with some dinner and a bit of hot tubbing to get ready for the full day to follow.
Tuesday morning, bright and early, we took the cable car up from Les Praz to La Flegere just in time to meet the sun rising over the mountain. I wish pictures could grasp the vastness and scale of the mountains.
We started on our hike from La Flegere to Plan Praz along the Grand Balcon Sud. Hiking is one of our favorite things to do together. Long chats and soaking in all the sights are always more fun with Ben.
God love Ben and those mountains. I swear, the entire time we were both giddy just staring at them. Every corner offered a new sight, every climb gifted us a new view of Mont Blanc, every leg of the hike offered new terrain. It was just grand.
My general feeling about Chamonix. Those mountains do not get old and the views never get lost on you.
Also super thankful for his patience, encouragement, and helpful hand up and down steep slopes.
We knew we had reached Plan Praz when we spotted the paragliders taking off. We didn’t join them this trip but I am committed to paragliding at once in my lifetime or learning how to do it myself and just take off for the day. (Slovenia is next month and I am think that would be prime opportunity!) I am baffled how they get so dang high. I would love nothing more than to take flight for the day and just fly high above the Chamonix valley. In the picture below you can spot loads of them taking off!
We found a nice rock to rest, take our boots off, stare in amazement at the paragliders, and share an apple as per usual.
Then it was off again towards Le Brevent. We went behind the ridge a bit and rather than grassy fields it turned into a rocky hike. Due to the abnormally long length of my legs we concluded I would be a great climber.
We continued onward until reaching Le Brevent for a lovely view! I mean look at those mountains. Again, I wish more than anything these pictures did it more justice. It is nothing short of breathtaking. (Quite literally, hey there elevation.)
We returned down to Chamonix via the Tour du Mont Blanc Trail descending almost 3000 meters. Let me tell you my knees felt every part of those 3000 meters. Very much so downhill. Such a neat experience to finally reach down to the bottom and look back up from where we climbed. If you look at the picture below we hiked from the very tip top down to the base and let me tell you it was a lot higher in person than the picture leads you to believe.
Our tired legs took us back to our chalet and we made some dinner and continued the tradition of hot tubbing after with some well deserved wine and cheese. Bring on day two.
Again, we took the cable car from Les Praze to Flegere and hiked towards Lac Blanc. Rather than a left this time we headed right to find the alpine lake.
Up, up and away.
Behold, Lac Blanc!! (Best said with your best French accent!) Such a sight and the perfect napping/yoga/tanning/lunch spot I believe I have ever laid eyes upon.
Ben and I both tried to soak up every ounce of sun that our bodies have not seen in about a year.
‘I’m on top of the world, hey!’
You can grasp a bit of the vastness by looking at the size of the people in each of the pictures! After Lac Blanc we hiked for about another hour and a half to L’Index where we rode the chairlift and then cable car back down to Les Praz.
When researching some cool places in Chamonix we stumbed upon La Floria. It was a must see. Why you ask? IT HAD 4000 FLOWERS AT A MOUNTAIN TOP CAFE. Tired and hot, we were determined. We hiked from Chamonix up to the cafe and it was so, so worth it. We enjoyed a little coffee, potage, and a tart au myrtilles (a blueberry treat apparently well known in the area.)
Back down we went to enjoy dinner and our evening usual.
Thursday morning we took a bus to Montroc and Ben ran a portion of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc racecourse near Les Tours and Argentiere, while I ran the bunny slope trail throughout the valleys. Then it was time to pack our bags and hop on the next plane towards the French Riviera.
I’m so thankful that hiking is something that both Ben and I love and enjoy. I think we both agree we will be back to the Chamonix area for more hikes, and maybe a little snowboarding and skiing once I master the bunny slopes. I loved every minute of our trip and will always love climbing mountains with my best friend.