In the Fall, when one of Dan's best friends from college was out to visit us, we decided to take a day trip to Chamonix and Mont Blanc, something that is not uncommon for us to do any given weekend day. However, we wanted to make it special and change things up a bit. We decided to do something that was new to us as well as our friend, allowing us to see one of our favorite towns in France in a new light.
You may remember from a post a few months back when we were thwarted from taking the telecabine up to a popular hiking point on Mont Blanc, called Plan de l'Aiguille du Midi (2317 m.), because Oswin was too young. Someone suggested that next time we try to take the train up to a different point on the mountain, known as Montenvers (1913 m). Well, this is the story of that train ride.
When we arrived at Chamonix we were amazed at the difference from when we had been there just two weeks before. On the occasion of that thwarted telecabine ride we found a surprisingly 70 degree day, one that far from had a shortage of sun or greenery. Fast forward to two weeks later when I almost slipped and fell getting of the car because of an icy patch. It was so so SO very cold. There was snow and ice in certain spots. It was fast becoming ski season in Chamonix, and all we were missing was a big pot of fondue to warm our bones.
After walking through the town a bit, we headed over to the train station to purchase our tickets and waited for our cogwheel ride. The journey took about 30 minutes, and the scenery was beautiful, though Oswin was far more interested in the people on the train than the surrounding Alps.
We arrived at the end at the Montenvers station to see one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen. Just look at that peak!
It took my breathe away. I hadn't researched anything about Montenvers before heading up, and its sheer beauty was a very welcome surprise. There are steps leading down to the glacier below, but as it was slippery and we were sans appropriate footwear (and avec enfant), we decided to wait to head down that path until things begin to thaw in the spring or early summer.
We stayed at the top for an hour or so, explored a crystal cave, took lots of pictures, and had a hot chocolate, before heading back down the mountain to the slightly warmer Chamonix. The sun was beginning to set, so after a little more wandering around this alpen ski town we headed back to the car to make the drive home.
If you're heading to Chamonix I highly recommend taking the trip up to Montenvers. There was no age minimum for kids, so it's nice to have a kid-friendly option for going a bit higher on the mountain. It's beauty is awe-inspiring, there are paths to be explored, and you might as well as see this beautiful glacier before they all become a thing of the past. I will say that if you're going with kids, leave the stroller at the bottom or in your hotel. We saw several people really struggling with their strollers, both in finding a way to fit on the cogwheel train with the other passengers, and trying to maneuver the icy paths. Carriers all the way for those babes, if you ask me.
A la prochaine friends...
Oh, and hey, speaking of carriers, don't forget that we've got our first giveaway going on right now for a Sakura Bloom ring sling! This giveaway will close at 11:59 EST on Friday the 23rd, so head on over to get those entries in now! You can enter once, or as many as eight times, depending on your social media following/liking/etc. preferences. Here's the link to enter! Bon chance!