Bucket List #172: Skiing The French Alps

Completed.

After a week in Paris, Heuer and I took the train to Geneva where we rented a car and drove to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, which is a beautiful ski resort area nestled in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. Fun fact: It was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924.

Chamonix: Dec 2011

Chamonix: Dec 2011

We had a reservation at the Hôtel Le Morgane, which was located in the middle of the town, enabling us to walk anywhere we wanted. If you like the vibe of W Hotels, you will love this place. Perfect modern mountain resort with good sized rooms and a fantastic restaurant [see below].

The town is not very big, but if you come to ski, eat and drink, you will be plenty entertained. On our second day in Chamonix, we walked to the bus and took the short 15 minute ride to Les Grands Montets, the local ski resort. I don’t ski as much as I used to as my knees are not in great shape, but I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to ski the Alps, so I pointed my sticks down the hill and let out a little ‘weeeeee!!!’.

Unfortunately, the first snow of the season only arrived two days before we did so it was not the best of conditions, but we skiied that mountain, and we skiied it good.

Chamonix: Dec 2011

Chamonix: Dec 2011

On the ride home, we discussed heading to the Italian side next to test their snow, but quickly decided unless there was a monster storm in the next 24 hours, one day of skiing was enough for this trip. The storm never came, so we’ll need to ski the Italian side next time.

In addition to skiing, the town offers many places to eat and one of my favorite meals during our stay was a [what felt like] 23-course meal at our hotel.

Chamonix: Dec 2011

Chamonix: Dec 2011

Chamonix: Dec 2011

Chamonix: Dec 2011

The plates kept coming and the dishes kept getting better and better. By the time dessert arrived, I was so full that I couldn’t finish the whole thing, but managed to get the chocolate chip cookie and one of the custards in me. I mean, come on…where there is a will there is a way. Always.

We had four great days in Chamonix, but truth be told, if you are not skiing, 2 days would be plenty unless you bring a really good book to read or a deck of cards or spend some time in the spa. I like to explore the places we visit and you can walk this town in an hour, so to break up the trip a bit, we decided to take a day trip to Annecy and ‘do lunch’ in Milan, which were both fun excursions, and I’ll share on them next.

See more photos from our trip here: Chamonix 2011

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