4.6.17

Chamonix Mont-Blanc Trip and Why You Also Need To Visit!








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I've always been so fascinated with those Planet Earth and Arctic documentaries on tele. Those ice clad mountains, the winter chill, furry animals and the isolated life has always appealed to the hermit within me. Plus, I seem to have a Elsa-like liking for cold. With the body temperature of a vampire, I hardly ever seem to feel the chill so when Voyage Prive suddenly seemed to drop this package in my search, my eyes lit up! The other half's birthday, my birthday and our anniversary, all fall conveniently in one week. It had taken me weeks to decide on a vacay spot and the usual Tenerife's and Malta's didn't seem to tickle my fancy this time. Especially as I had just come back from a beach getaway in Algarve, I had this urge to explore something a little different if not drastic and fortunately, the latter is what actually happened. 

Not being a skier and with most people opting for a warmer destination in May, I got a sceptical response from most people about my chosen destination. In my mind, I was very sure this was going to be freaking fabulous. If you are not familiar with the name, Chamonix Mont-Blanc is a resort area near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy so you get to experience a little bit of beauty from all these beautiful countries. We landed in Geneva and took Ouibus from the airport that drove us to Chamonix in 1 hour 30 minutes, whilst letting me have a quick recap on Switzerland's unbeatable scenic route. The temperature dropped as we reached Chamonix and thankfully, our hotel was just opposite the bus stop, the perks of living in a small town. We stayed at Le Refuge des Aiglons which was a 4-star resort with a spa and an outdoor pool overlooking the Alps! In short, the staff here was smart, the food - pretty much like England and rooms were comfy and reflected the vibe of the town. Highly recommended.

I could babble about this in paragraphs or break some pointers down for you in an easy to digest manner so here's my list of must-remembers. 

- It was meant to be a really cold Spring but was extremely warm in Chamonix in May. However, the temperature on the mountains can go as low as -11 degree Celsius so pack both warm and light. 

- You will need walking/hiking boots alongside your regular trainers etc. The number of people I saw on the terrace overlooking Mont Blanc wearing ballet pumps. There's a lot of slippery ice in such areas. Don't. look. silly.

- Eat at cafe's/restaurants nearby. Hotel food can get dear after a point. If you want to have a gist of what the locals eat, grab a baguette (I saw someone carry a baguette all the way up to Aiguille du Midi) or their favourite, strawberry jam crepe.

- Listen to the counter lady when she says visibility at Aiguille du Midi (where you get incredible views of the Alps) is low. She showed it to us on live webcam and besides us, everyone else in the queue proceeded despite that. We waited for it be clear and headed up the following day. #Win

- Visit the place in April/May. It's off-peak, warm and you'll get to see the best views of the Alps with almost no queues to wait at.

- Get a cheap walking stick for yourself and your travel buddy from Amazon. It will make your life much easier in case you decide to explore the icy mountains.

If like me you've talked yourself out of beach holidays and want to see something majestic, overwhelming and surreal, without burning a hole in  your pocket, Chamonix is the place to visit. With ski slopes and hiking routes to die for, it's an adventure seekers paradise. I would highly recommend visitng Aiguille du Midi, Mer de Glace and the ice caves if you get the chance! Also, if you're like us and always end up hiring a car, it's definitely worth skipping it this time and opting for a bus or train instead. Most of the local transport is free to use and Chamonix is too small to make car hire worthwhile. 

I personally felt like I stepped into an episode of National Geographic. After living in the valley surrounded by snow-clad mountains for a few days, I definitely miss the dramatic backdrop in England and if given a chance, would move to the little French town in the blink of an eye.

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