August 9 - Towering Peaks of Chamonix

Early this morning at breakfast, there seemed to be a family reunion in the dining room. Children exchanged warm hugs with grandparents making the atmosphere very upbeat. We wound our way through Beaune’s cobblestone streets and eventually found our way to the railroad station. The woman in the ticket booth said it would take 12 hours to get to Chamonix, but thankfully it only took about five.
French trains are clean, modern, and swift. Our seats were perched on a raised platform and were very comfortable. Unfortunately, the woman across from us did not secure her steel sided suitcases and early on it came tumbling down slightly injuring my toe It was not a good way to start a three hour train ride, but it will be okay. Passing through the countryside, the peaks of distant mountains soon became visible and added a beautiful backdrop to fields of sunflowers. Tiny alpine style houses with stucco roofs and window boxes bursting with flowers surrounded us on both sides.
Our final connection to Chamonix had huge panoramic windows. As we ascended up the mountains, torrential streams roared beneath the bridges and tiny paragliders soared high above catching the wind in their parachutes.. What an amazing view they must have.
Chamonix is so picturesque. Tall mountain peaks loom above the town with a breathtaking view of the snowcapped Mont Blanc. Gondolas in all directions whisk people to the top for dreamy views. Our hotel, Oustalet, looks like an Alpine chalet. Our room is decorated in natural pine and has a balcony overlooking the town and the mountains. We sat in the garden by the pool and had a chopped chicken and bacon, sandwich served between two buckwheat pancakes. Locals call it a blini. Delicious!
A light rain is falling tonight, but from our room we can still see the lights of the town with the glacier still visible on Mont. Blanc.


CoachSparky said…
That's a big difference between 12 hours and 5 hours! You're lucky your trip was much shorter. Wow! Your descriptions of all of these views are incredible. What an amazing view you had from the train! Chamonix sounds absolutely breathtaking. I hope that you are taking pictures. The blini sounds delicious:)
Susan Erickson said…
I hope your toe is okay -- we need to get you steel toed shoes! I just adored my day in Chamonix and I'm sure you will as well.

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