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Sister and I planned this short surprise trip for one of my younger brother’s big birthday celebration, it was also a good time to get the whole family together as covid restrictions has lifted. I have not seen my youngest brother who lives in Denmark since our last family holiday which was in 2018 with our late mum 🥲. It will be an emotional time and an unforgettable holiday for us all, plus a big surprise for my brother.
We chose this part of the country as it was a good half way point for us to travel to, and a place that has so much beauty and many activities.
We started with the Mont Blanc experience by cable car and ended with a train ride to Montenvers – Mer De Glace.
Chamonix from sea level: 3300 feet Aguille du Midi from sea level: 12605 feet Mont Blanc from sea level: 15774 Feet
The Aiguille du Midi is a 12,605 feet mountain in the Mont Blanc massif within the French Alps. It is a popular tourist destination and can be directly accessed by cable car from Chamonix that takes visitors close to Mont Blanc.
We stayed in an Airbnb apartment called Le Genepy Hotel in the heart of Chamonix. Each room had a skylight that had an amazing view of the surrounding snow capped mountains.
We walked from our hotel to the centre of Chamonix to get the cable car up to Aiguille du Midi to get a good view of the highest mountain in the alps – Mont Blanc. At the time the cost of a return ticket for the cable car up to Aiguille du Midi and included a train ride from Chamonix to Montenvers Mer De Glace Glacier for €80 per person.
Staying at Chamonix you can feel it on your chest as it is at 3300 feet from sea level, it did feel strange at first but you do get used to it. Beautiful views of the snow capped mountains no matter where you looked, it was so surreal and mesmerising.
It was off-peak season so it was not as busy, we managed to book tickets for the cable car ride up to the top, the weather forecast for the top was looking good for today.
We then headed up in the lift towards the glass platform.
We made it here and managed to get a clear view of the surrounding mountains on the glass platform. Not sure where we lost the boys, by the time they turned up the views had clouded over.
It was cold so we decided to get hot refreshments at the restaurant cafe nearby to warm up.
We had a bit more time to take in the view whilst waiting for the cable car back down to Chamonix at the half way point.
When we got back down to the bottom, we walked a short way to get the little red train to Montenvers – Mer De Glace to see the glacier.
The Mer de Glace (“Sea of Ice”) is a valley glacier located on the northern slopes of the Mont Blanc massif, in the French Alps. It is 7.5 km long and 200 metres (660 ft) deep but, when all its tributary glaciers are taken into account, it can be regarded as the longest and largest glacier in France, and the second longest in the Alps after the Aletsch Glacier.
The scenery on the journey to the glacier was breath taking. When we got there we were a little disappointed we could not go down to the glacier as it was closed for this time of year. The surrounding views made up for it, the back drop was beautiful.
We were very lucky with the weather today going up to Aiguille du Midi, they do not run the cable car service if the weather is not safe at the top. I would definitely recommend the experience if you get the chance, it is not something you get to do or see often. Being at the top, it gives you a sense of how vast it is, how beautiful it is to be in the scenery, just breath taking and mesmerising. I would love to come back in the summer season to be able to do some hiking up in the mountains. We will see how it plans out.
- Apple iPhone 12 Pro (for taking photos/videos and mapping using Gaia GPS app with France IGN Topo)
- Insta360 X3 (for taking 360 video of the landscape)
- Comfy walking shoes (most important)
- Flask with Hot/Cold drink (a good cuppa is always welcome)
- Gloves and Scarf (help keep warm)
- ibuprofen (helping hand if you have any aches and pains)
- Food and snacks (fuel to keep you going)