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Chamonix, France

Chamonix - Alpine Adventures Tuesday, September 26, 2006
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Tuesday Morning - Breakfast Hotel Albert 1er

Breakfast

Tuesday morning we had breakfast (18 Euro's plus tax) at the hotel. It was a large variety of bread, fruit and cereal, but not what I was expecting after staying at the Riffelalp (where the breakfast was included). After eating, I told myself that I'd be eating elsewhere the next few mornings. $26 US dollars for a light breakfast is a bit much, even for a nice hotel.

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Main hotel bathroom - downstairs.

Hotel bathroom.

Main hotel Jacuzzi - the other one is in another building.

Sauna.

Front of Hotel Albert 1er.

Other buildings in resort - they can accommodate families in some of these chalet style huts.

The resort dog is called Opium.

Side of building.

Pool with outside access in warmer weather.

Pool and Jacuzzi.

Downtown Chamonix.

Church in Chamoix.

Walking Downtown

Downtown

After breakfast we started off exploring downtown Chamonix. Since it was overcast, we wanted to see what peaks were in sunshine and see a bit of the downtown area. I was surprised to see alot of graffiti.

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Downtown

McDonald's

After stopping by the local tourist office, we found out that it would be overcast all day, so we decided to head up to the glacier. Yes, even in nice resorts such as Chamonix, they have a McDonald's.

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Glacier

Tram to Glacier

For a small day trip, we took the cogwheel up to the glacier.

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Mer de Glace

Mer de Glace

I found out from literature that, - - There are 7 major glaciers and several minor ones in the Chamonix valley. The Mer de Glace (sea of ice) is the second largest glacier in the Alps (the largest being the Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland). It is estimated to contain approx 4000 million cubic metres of frozen water; is 12k long and varies in width from 700 - 1950m. The average depth of the ice is m with a maximum 420m just down stream of the glacier du Geant. The Mer de Glace moves forward 90m per year, or 1cm per hour. During the 20th century all alpine glaciers receded. The Mer de Glace receded 7.5m every year on average. --

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Train and Restaurant Station

Observation Area

From the train station which is above the glacier, you can hike down to the glacier, or take a cable car down.

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Cable car down from Montenvers to glacier below.

The glacier.

Station.

Cable cars.

Glacier

Entrance to Glacier

The glacier is huge - as far as the eye can see up and down the valley. While the top is dirty, the tunnels carved into the glacier have a beautiful contrasting blue - from the solid ice.

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Glacier Observation Deck

Observation Deck

From the observation deck, you can hike down on a trail to the glacier in the valley below. It's about an hour easy hike down.

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Pepe and Jane.

The path down to the glacier.

The lower cable car station.

The final walk down to the entrance.

A view up to the lower cable car station.

Inside the glacier.

A tunneling machine is used to hollow out the walkway.

LED lights illuminated the glacier.

LED lights create stunning effects - especially when the camera is in macro mode.

LED lights create stunning effects - especially when the camera is in macro mode.

LED lights create stunning effects - especially when the camera is in macro mode.

LED lights create stunning effects - especially when the camera is in macro mode.

Green.

Red.

Green.

Entrance to glacier - on warm days it's very wet with dripping water from the melting glacier.

Downtown Chamonix.

Hotel Alpina - where I would have stayed but it was closed.

Another photo of the beautiful river which is graced by flowers and a bridge.

Ornate bridge over the river.

Chamonix

Bridge

After our trip up to the glacier, we had lunch at McDonald's and did some shopping. Chamonix is a very beautiful alpine resort village.

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Downtown Chamonix

Flowers on Bridge

Flowers cover balconies as well as bridges and lightposts.

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Dinner

Fondue

After our hike and shopping in the downtown area, we came back to go swimming and use the Jacuzzi. Unfortunately, the Jacuzzi was not very warm. We made reservations for the country kitchen restaurant in at Hotel Albert 1er, and started with some tasty French fondue.

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Dinner - Entree

Beef

For dinner I had the beef. While they do have a wood-fired cookspace, it is primarily used for lamb. We had a table way in the furthest corner of the crowded restaurant. It was noisy and I stared at a wall all night. The country kitchen is divided from the main room into smaller rooms which are cramped and uncomfortable. It seems as though Riffelalp has set the standard for dining and country kitchens.

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Country Kitchen Grill

Grill

This is the country kitchen grill - used primarily for lamb.

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McDonald's Chamonix receipt. Notice the code needed to use the bathrooms.

Montenvers rail ticket.

Montenvers rail ticket.

Montenvers rail ticket.

Montenvers rail ticket.

Montenvers rail ticket.

Glacier cable car ticket.

Glacier cable car ticket.

Postcard of Hotel Albert 1er.

Map of Chamonix area.

Euro

Euro

Euro

Euro

Euro

Euro

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