Hiya Friends! Today is my third post in my travel series and it is all about Chamonix, France. Before even going on my trip I kept pronouncing Chamonix as “Sham-oh-nix”, only to find out that I was saying it wrong and is pronounced “Sham-oh-knee.” This little area in France is again surrounded by Italy and Switzerland and sits at the base of Mont Blanc, which is the highest summit in the Alps. I can also say that this portion of my trip was probably my favorite. I mean look how picturesque the photo of the town is and you can see Mont Blanc in the background.
While here my favorite highlights were the town, the white water rafting I did in glacier water, yep you heard me glacier water at the end of September crazy I know, seeing Mont Blanc up close and hiking Aiguilles Rouges.
White water rafting was an experience that I thought I would never do, but when it presented itself in France, I had to just do it. It was so much fun, albeit a bit frightening, but the water during our trek was calmer than I expected. It was however frigid. I remember getting to our raft and the guide telling us that we needed to wet our face in order to get acclimated to the temperature of the water. All of us just dabbed our hands in the freezing water and wiped it on our faces. Our guides instead dunked themselves with water, which left us open mouthed with shock. In the end while we were rafting everyone in my raft jumped out of the raft to float in the glacier water for a bit. Thank goodness for wetsuits!
Hiking Aiguilles Rouges was one of my favorite hikes during my trip because of the beautiful scenery, our wonderful guides and because it kicked my butt altitude wise. I know I mentioned blueberries in my previous travel post, but while on this hike I learned a very interesting fact. Throughout our hike we would spot blueberries and we would stop to pick them up and eat them. Our guides told us however that there were real and fake blueberries along the trail. Do you know the difference? I surely didn’t. You can tell the fake and the real blueberries because of their stem. The real ones are green, while the “fake” ones are brown, and the taste of them are also different. The brown stemmed blueberries are not as sweet as the real ones.
Mont Blanc was another spectacular place to visit. We took the Aiguille du midi cable car up the 3842 meters (which is 12,605 feet) and walked around to view the mountain covered in snow. Being up that high, there are signs everywhere that say to be mindful of the altitude because you can get altitude sickness from being so high. Most of us were feeling the lightheadedness of hypoxia while we were up there, but were only up there for a short time because it was really crowded, but also no one was comfortable staying up there for that long. Below are some photos of Mont Blanc, one shows us above the cloud line!, and a few others from my time in Chamonix.