Saturday, July 15, 2006

France Chamonix Day 7

One of our guidebooks said that Aiguille du Midi “is the easily the valley’s (and arguably, Europe’s) most spectacular and popular lift.” The lift takes you to the top of a rock needle 12,600 feet above sea level and more than 9,000 feet above Chamonix and the valley floor.

We set the alarm for 6:15 a.m. Jack and I walked Sharon to the bottom of the lift. While Sharon took the lift to the top, I took Jack back to the bed. He slept two more hours and by that time Sharon was back.

We got Jack up and headed off to feed him some breakfast; Sharon had breakfast in a restaurant at the top. Afterwards we headed towards the Train du Monenvers. This cog-train climbs about 3,000 above the valley floor and takes you to an overlook for Mer de Glace, a 9 mile long glacier. From there, you take a cable car down to another platform and then a winding staircase to the glacier. They have carved an ice tunnel into the glacier at this point. We had our picture taken inside the glacier with a Saint Bernard dog.

We took the cable car back up to the overlook and had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the glacier. We took the cog-train back down the mountain and then wandered back to the hotel. In route, we checked out the local Catholic Church and stopped by the tourist information office.

The three of us spent some time in the indoor pool and jacuzzi. After getting cleaned up, we sat on the deck of the hotel overlooking the river and had a drink.

We had dinner at Le Carlina. The meal was a collection of vegetables and meat (duck, chicken and beef) that we cooked ourselves on a hot rock that they brought to the table. The meal was really not anything more than a novelty, but Jack had fun helping us cook the meat.

During dinner, we agreed that getting to Chamonix was definitely worth the effort.

We were in bed by 11:00 p.m.; the earliest that we have gotten to bed in a week.

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