Monday, September 7, 2015

Chamonix-Mont Blanc, France: 3 Days of Skiing

Actual date of this event: 5-9 March

From mid-December until early March, we didn't do any traveling at all!! Crazy, right?! We decided we wanted to settle the new flat before we made any plans for traveling. For 2.5 months, we set up the flat, tried out plenty of new restaurants, and made new friends. That was the dead of winter and when I look back now, I hardly remember the winter of 2014-2015 because we were on cloud nine in our new place. It was nice to relax after such a such stressful time. But that ended eventually. Luke really wanted to go to the Alps for the usual ski/boarding trip. After lots of debating and a little research on several places, we just didn't have enough time to book an epic adventure. We settled on Chamonix-Mont Blanc which after looking back now, "settled" is in no way the correct word to use.
Chamonix is one of the most popular destinations for skiing. The highest peak in the Alps is located within the resort - Mont Blanc - so the surrounding areas are beautiful. It has been known as expensive, but it is also one of the easiest places to go. It is only an hour from Geneva, and the amount of information on the resort on the internet is out of this world! Other than the price of the hotel (which was actually the only thing we felt was expensive in the end), Chamonix-Mont Blanc was the perfect last minute trip for me to book. Within a few days, I had the whole trip booked, planned, and with all of the small details settled as well, which rarely happens.
On the recommendation of Jamie @ The Healthy Passport, we took the pre-booked AlpyBus from the airport to the hotel on Thursday, the day we arrived. We were at the hotel by 2pm, so we had lots of time left for the day, but not enough daylight to get on the slopes. After dropping our bags, we took the hotels recommendation to have lunch at Moo... like the cow. We walked in the town for a bit before I decided to go back to the hotel to rest. Unfortunately, I came down with a small cold the day before we left - what a perfect travel destination to have a cold in, right? Not. Luke continued to walk around, looked into some shops (continued his obsession with beanies), and then came back for a rest as well. At 5:30pm, we were able to go get me fitted for skis. Then we took a walk down the street with all of the bars and saw how rowdy Chamonix could get at night. For dinner, I booked us a table at La Serac where we could get true raclette for dinner. A pound of cheese just for us.... it was insanely over the top (despite what Luke may tell you).

On Friday, we woke up for breakfast at around 8:30am (and my obsession with croissants begins - I really think I could eat croissants and only croissants for the rest of my life). We got some advice from the hotel on what area would be good for our first day. You see, Chamonix is several different areas that aren't all connected on the mountain, but they are all accessible by bus on the ground, which is included in the ski pass. Our hotel was located in the actual town of Chamonix (partly why it was so expensive), so we took the crowded bus to the Domaine de Balme area for our first day. The day was beautiful! We skied around a bit, and the snow was perfect! My cold was holding me back big time though. I couldn't ski for more than a minute without needing a break - I was getting short of breath and felt wonky. After a short few hours, we stopped for a water break, and I decided to stay at the mountain restaurant while Luke continued on. He eventually came back to get me, and then we skied for a bit. But then I needed a break again so he continued on. It was such a shame. I probably only did about half a day, while Luke did a full day. For dinner, we decided to check out Atmosphere, and ate another pound of cheese in the form of fondue this time. Ridiculous! And again, my cold was really putting a damper on things because my appetite was practically non-existent.

Saturday was a mess... or at least it was for me. I felt awful when I woke up! After breakfast, I made the decision to not go on the mountain. Those of you that know me know that I am just slightly frugal... so for me to waste a day of a ski pass and ski rentals was a really big deal. It killed me to throw that money down the drain, but it was not not a good idea for me to go exercise in cold weather. Thankfully, we were in a nice comfortable hotel, and I had loaded my iPad with movies (which was actually the first time I had ever done that on a trip - go figure!). So I spent the day in bed watching movies, napping and feeling like crap. Meanwhile, Luke was out on the mountain with no one holding him back! In fact, I think it was his favorite day. He went to the Flégère area which connects on the mountain to the Brévent area. After a full day, he finally arrived back around 6pm. I was feeling a little bit better, but still not great, so we went out for dinner. On the way to dinner, we stopped for a welcome drink and snack just outside of the hotel - glühwein, raclette, and sausages! I loved this little hotel - the owners were so nice and they made everyone feel so at home. Anyway, we had dinner reservations at Micro Brasserie Chamonix brew pub which was a super delicious and popular place - glad we made reservations! After dinner, my cold took a major turn, and I felt worse than I did that morning. I am so glad I did not go out on the slopes that day! I'm pretty sure I had a fever, so I fell asleep by 8pm, while Luke watched movies on the iPad.

I was feeling a bit better on Sunday, and since it was our last day to ski, I decided to go out. We went to the Brévent-Flégère area for the day, the same as what Luke had done the day before. I was trying really hard, but still short of breath and couldn't do much. I felt completely worthless and felt really bad that Luke was having to wait on me every minute. We ended up repeating Friday's routine of Debbie rest while Luke ski alone. In the end, I barely skied half a day, while Luke was another full day. He wanted to get as much out of his days possible since this was our only ski trip of the season, and it was only three days. I don't blame him! For dinner on Sunday, we decided to go for pizza at Pizzeria des Moulins. I couldn't taste my food hah! but Luke said it was good. Luke wanted to enjoy the town a bit, so I headed back to the hotel for the night while he stayed out to have a few drinks.

On Monday, we packed up our bags to check-out at 11am, and then walked in town before the AlpyBus picked us us for the airport. Although I was sick during the trip, Chamonix really was a great ski area. Perhaps we got lucky, but the weather was gorgeous (not too cold and not too hot), sunshine galore, great powder, great slopes, yummy food, and of course, Luke's favorite was that he could speak French. I would love to go back to Chamonix-Mont Blanc again as long as I am feeling 100% healthy!

Chamonix-Mont Blanc offers extra attractions to visitors: visit the summit terrace for views of the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps, visit and go inside the glacier, indoor swimming pools, and much much more.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...