Trekking in the French and Swiss Alps (Sept 2005): Page 2

NO INDIANA JONES JOKES! We were nearing the Telepherique (Gondola) to Chamonix. We knew it was closing that evening but we weren't sure what time so we were making what haste we could under the circumstances.

The chamois are magnificient creatures which aren't in the least afraid of heights.

Tracy is afraid of heights and when she saw that we'd have to climb near vertical ladders she was NOT impressed. The ladders in the picture don't do their actual vertical angle justice :)

The views when nearing the gondola were fabulous and we still didn't know if it was open or closed.

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in all of Europe at almost 5km above sea level.

Here I am standing on the view deck where the Gondola stops. It's very freaky because when you look down you see only clouds.

We arrived at the top of the gondola to find it closed. To walk down to the city of Chamonix would have taken hours and our feet were in no condition to hike further, not to mention it was going to get dark in an hour. We had no food or water, and we were at 2600m above sea level. I set up the tent under the gondola machine and we slept until the next day when the gondola would open at 9am. The sound of it starting up was SOOO nice to hear and when the operator got off the car he told us we could ride down for free!

When we arrived in Chamonix we quickly found a hotel and went GROCERY shopping. We hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours and we were very dehydrated. We purchased 50 Euros worth of food and INDULGED :)

The views from the Chamonix valley are breathtaking and surreal.

After ascending a telepherique (gondola) we were on a high mountain road which was perfect for day hikers wanting to breathe the fresh mountain air.

There isn't a chairlift up Mont Blanc so I was a little puzzled to see 4 Italian snowboarders at the top of the Gondola. On questioning we learned that they'd spent 3 days climbing Mont Blanc which explained their heavy backpacks. When asked how long it took them to snowboard down they replied "30 minutes!".

Nestled in a valley is the quaint church of Notre Dame de la Gorge. Hundreds of years old and probably built by the templars it's visited by thousands of tourists each year.

This river had carved it's path over millions of years and was more than 30 feet below where I'm standing. It was winding everywhere and no picture could do it justice.

This narrow road was build thousands of years ago by the romans and is still in use today.

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