Europe 2009

Chamonix, 22-23 August

 

Departing from Brunnen, we climbed higher and higher, with the cloud getting closer and closer to the ground. *

 

We eventually went over the Furka Pass at 2431 metres. The cloud was very low and the final few kilometres to the top of the pass were in thick mist. But at the top the mist cleared, and it was fine and sunny. This photo is taken at the top of the pass, looking back at the mist. †

 

Another view of the cloud banks at the same level as the road. *

 

On the left, the road from Furka Pass winding down to the valley of the headwaters of the Rhône. To the right is the road zig-zagging up to Grimsell Pass towards Interlaken. Not visible is the third road that goes to the left down the Rhône valley towards Geneva. *

 

This is the road down the Rhône valley with, in the background, the road up to Grimsell Pass. Note also the rack railway at right. †

 

From right to left: the road down the Rhône valley, the rack railway, the Rhône, and a footpath. All means of transportation squeezed in together, because the valley is the only possible route. *

 

Once the Rhône valley opens out, every square metre is used for cultivation. *

 

There were also many of these old barns, raised up on stumps like Queensland houses. *

 

And the purpose of the stumps, and their stone caps, was to keep vermin such as mice away from the grain stored in the barn. *

 

A church and graveyard not long before we went from Switzerland into France. *

 

Our hotel room in Chamonix had a view up to Mont Blanc. In this case rather obscured by cloud in the early evening. †

 

And beautifully clear early the next morning. †

 

Central Chamonix had a number of shops selling a wide range of local food. This is one of them. *

 

With the weather being so clear, we had to take the cable cars up to the Aiguille du Midi at 3842 metres. It is the spire you can just see on the peak. *

 

The views at the top were spectacular, but the air was so thin that we easily became breathless. †

 

 

 

This is not our idea of fun, but presumably these mountaineers enjoyed it. *

 

Glacier flowing down from Mont Blanc. †

 

View of the Chamonix valley from Mont Blanc. †

 

It was easier to breathe at the half-way mark, and the scenery was still magnificent. †

 

*

 

 

There was a small bar at the half-way level, where one could have a snack or drink as the cable cars drifted past. *

Now we go back into Italy at Aosta.

 

Copyright © 2009 by *Lynn or †Nick Booth