September 9, 2007

Dispatch from Chamonix, France

The trip over here went very well. All the flights were on time, no airline weirdness interrupted the smooth flow of travelers. No security weirdness (though something was missing in Frankfurt -- I could have left the terminal without checking through passport control; on the other hand, the Swiss passport control didn't even look at my passport -- just a glance and a wave). As is usual, I was unable to sleep on the plane, but as long as I stayed hydrated and kept the blood sugar up, I was fine.

I arrived in Philadelphia around 4 PM yesterday (Sept. 5), Frankfurt at 10:30 this morning, and Geneva at 1 that afternoon. The Chamexpress delivered me to gîte Le Vagabond by 4:30.

Although Frankfurt was cloudy, we left the clouds as we flew south to Geneva and, though I was on the wrong side of the plane, I got a wonderful view of Mont Blanc and her sisters. As amazing as that view was, it was even better to catch glimpses of her growing larger and taller as we approached by car. From town, here in Chamonix, Mont Blanc is simply stunning, magnificent, and dominant. It is just amazingly close, rising steeply from the creek that runs through town to the highest point in Europe.

Vagabond is funky and fun. It's an old building with stone and stucco walls and wooden floors and finishing. Most of the windows are new and double-paned. The bar is right under my room, but I'm tired enough that I don't expect any trouble sleeping tonight.

Chamonix is a very charming little town, and well-equipped for its size (Chanel, Rolex, as well as ski wear), with lots of restaurants and stores. I had a beer in the bar (strictly for hydration purposes) and then had a nice fixed price, Savoyard dinner of salad, wine, Croûte Montagnard, and a Nougat a l'Italienne at Le Bartavel.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I plan to take the Téléphérique to the Aiguille du Midi.

Sept. 6, from Gîte Le Vagabond, Chamonix, France: map, 1028m; accum. 0 km (3373'; accum. 0 mi)

Updated for spelling, links, and photos: 10/22.

Link to photo album

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