So Ryan doesn’t do heights, but I made him :) Well no not really, I said I would go up the mountain on my own, but he is awesome and came with me! We drove through the Mont Blanc tunnel to get there from Italy, and I mean, sure it was cool… 35 Euro cool? Maybe not, but whatever we’ve now done it. So afternoon number one in Chamonix we hauled ass to make it for the last train to Montenvers, which is at 1913 meters and home to a funicular down to a glacier in the mountain. The glacier has reduced greatly over the years, and there are signs on the mountain indicating it’s former level in a variety of years, so it is sadly not as neat as it may have once been, but now you can go in it! Every year they carve out ‘rooms’ in the ice and there is a path that you can walk through, it’s pretty neat nonetheless, when else am I going to be ‘in’ a glacier? Day number two saw us get up very early so that we could make one of the early funiculars up the Mont Blanc, with all the other diehards. We caught the 9am car, which in addition to us, was full of people with cold weather gear, backpacks, hiking boots, and ice picks. We stood in line in hoodies, jeans, gloves (purchased the night before) and running shoes (I also had a scarf), drinking our coffees while they were putting sunscreen on their faces, we were out of our league! The first car takes you up from 1030 which is the level Chamonix is at, to 2300 referred to as the ‘plan de l’aiguille’ in about 20 minutes (the dangling is especially fun..err yeah). The next car takes you from the plan de l’aiguille to l’aiguille du midi at 3800 (yup, more dangling), where you can catch another elevator (inside the mountain this time) to 3842 meters!! Needless to say, this has to be one of the most amazing things I have ever done and now Ryan can say the same.. thanks to me!! Hehe (credit where credit is due and all that jazz)!! We also ate amazingly during our two nights there, some good cold weather, mountain, stick to your ribs kind of stuff. Night number one we had ‘Raclette a l’ancienne’ (Ryan is a notorious, ‘easy on the cheese’, which is good for me of course…but he LOVED it!!). For those who don’t know what Raclette is; it is a wedge of cheese slowly melted at the table using some heat source, and is eaten with boiled potatoes and some form of sliced meat…yummers! For those that do know what Raclette is, but were born in the last century, “a l’ancienne’ constitutes an old school cast iron apparatus with a small ‘oven’ holding wood embers which simultaneously heat the cheese and make everything smell a.m.a.z.i.n.g!! The second day, we warmed up after the mountain with braserade which again using a cast iron grill thingie, brought to our table we cooked beef and chicken ourselves (which the best charcoal flavour you could imagine) and had fries and various ‘sauces’ (garlic mayo, herb mayo and cumin mayo). That night, when we could move again, we went out and had a beef stew, served once again, out of a cast iron pot tableside (well, by us)… so amazing.. I just, can’t describe it. Oh, did I mention that I’m well on my way to chubbers?? So worth it though! That pretty much sums up Chamonix though, awesome ‘one time’ opportunities and some great eats!
These are some pictures that you have to see;