A week's walking in the Swiss and French Alps near Geneva.
Saturday 18 August 2001 - Saturday 25 August 2001
This was a holiday with a difference, being a walking holiday in the Swiss Alps near Geneva and Chamonix in France. This is not my normal sort of trip but thought I would try something different as I could get a really good deal on flights.
Saturday 18 August - I flew to Geneva and had some time in the city before being collected and taken to our hotel in Morgins. This is a typical chocolate box style of village, with chalet style buildings, a great looking church, and lots of mountains.
A building on the lake front in Geneva.
The fountain in Lake Geneva.
The clock tower near the lake.
The chalets in Morgins.
The village church.
Sunday 19 August - We were driven to Fontaines Blanches, a set of waterfalls up the valley. From there it was a steep walk to Lac de Chésery. The walk continued via Lac Vert to Portes de l'Hiver from which there are spectacular views over the Dents Du Midi. Down to La Tovassiere for coffee and then along the river Vieze de Morgins back to the chalet. A good walk to shake out the cobwebs.
Swiss scenery at Lac de Chésery.
Water break somewhere along the trail.
The Dents du Midi, as seen from the Portes de l'Hiver.
Monday 20 August - This was a very long walk (20 km) along the Dents du Midi. After a short but steep climb, we thankfully walked contour lines so not too bad. The weather was changeable to say the least. It rained. Then the sun came out. Then it rained. Then the sun came out again. And so on. We stopped a couple of times at the refuges for lunch and much needed hot chocolate. We came back down through forest past Roc Coupe. A very tiring day.
Cows with bells in a typical Swiss traffic jam.
Back across the valley from Dents du Midi.
Low cloud and waterfalls on the mountains.
The mountain refuge at Lac d'Antéme after a rain break (and much needed hot chocolate).
Tuesday 21 August - A short walk up and around Morgins, ending up at the chair lift at Foilleuse. Much better than walking down to Morgins. Lazy afternoon with coffee and cake and then a great BBQ for dinner.
Morgins in the foreground, France in the background just past the small lake.
More cows with bells.
The chair lift back down to Morgins.
Wednesday 22 August - I missed the early start (slept in) for a sunrise hike up the valley. Bugger. After brekkie there was another local walk around the valley to a cheese farm, fondue for lunch.
Lunch time (with some strange bloke in back right hand corner looking on).
Thursday 23 August - We drove to Vallorcine in France. We walked up and up and up (1000 metre vertical climb) to Lac Blanc. This is on the opposite side of the valley from Mt Blanc so got great views. We stayed at La Flégère cabin, which, after such a long walk was surprisingly comfortable. A large dinner was followed by an early night.
The walk towards Mt Blanc.
The Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice Glacier) on Mt Blanc.
The refuge at Lac Blanc.
Dusk over Mt Blanc, with Chamonix in the valley below.
Friday 24 August - We carried on along the route to Plan Prax cable car. From there we had superb views of mountains and paragliders. Some people walked down whereas I took the direct route to Chamonix via the cable car. Lunch and afternoon in town and we drove back to Morgins.
Dawn somewhere near Mt Blanc.
The town of Chamonix.
Paragliding over the Chamonix valley.
A statue to famous mountaineers in Chamonix.
Saturday 25 August - Group mug shots, flight back to London.
The obligatory group mug shot outside our chalet in Morgins.
Summary - In all, a very good trip. There was lots of fresh air and exercise. An interesting small group of nine (1 NZ, 3 Canadians, 2 Aussies, 1 US, 1 British, 1 German who was there to improve his English). The hosts at chalet were British and were very good cooks.