The last time when we went to visit the Mer de Glace, we did not walk around much in Chamonix, the base town from where we have to take the rack railway to go up to Le Montenvers (from where one can have a panoramic view of the Mer de Glace). Partly because Chamonix was not the focus of that visit (we wanted to visit the glacier and the ice grotto). But also mainly because there was no time to check out the town as we wanted to make sure that we caught a certain train back to Lausanne.
But this time since the hubby wanted to look for a particular magazine on ski de fond… and since we still have a bit of time to spare before taking the train back towards Lausanne, we ended visiting the shopping area not that far from the train station. It has a very touristy feel just like many other tourist resorts and towns…but nonetheless is still quite pretty and charming. Especially the view of the massif du Mont Blanc (part of the French Alps) which ever way we turned…makes it really nice. And of course… the many and interesting-looking souvenir shops….it felt as if they were calling out to me to come in and visit! 🙂 So, I did…but managed to refrain myself from buying anything…even though there were a number of stuff that caught my eye!
From the little that I read about this charming town, Chamonix was “discovered” by two English aristocrats in 1741. Back then it was called Chamouni (or Chamouny). Enthralled by what they saw, they recounted their visit to others. And fascinated by their tales about this small mountain village and its glaciers, many other wealthy tourists, especially the English soon started coming to see for themselves this impressive village and to marvel at the mysterious “Sea of Ice” (glacier). As a result, the mountain village of Chamonix slowly developed into a popular tourists destination, especially after road and rail infrastructure was constructed to give easier access to the area.
But the boost for Chamonix to become one of the more popular ski resort came after it hosted the first Winter Olympic Games, in 1924. Since then, it has become a very famous and well-equipped ski resort. So…. where better place to look for a particular magazine on skiing…than at a well-equipped and important ski resort, no? And true enough… the hubby found the magazine that he was looking for even though most of the shops that sells magazines and books were closed as it was a Sunday. He was very happy… and so was I …. because we bought some more books on Sudoku for me to take my mind (and my thumb) off my handphone game!! hikhikhik….
So, before I post the photos of the mysterious Mer de Glace….here are some taken in Cham. (Nooo….the nickname is not given by me!! It is mentioned in one of the 3 guide books that the hubby gave me for my background search….and if you check out the town website, you’ll see the nickname used on the top right hand corner….) 🙂
Welcome to Chamonix Mont-Blanc….train station!
The view just outside the train station…
and inside…with a beautiful Christmas decorations that are still there. Love the big wooden train!!!
The hubby walking across an iron bridge which was constructed many, many years ago. You have to cross this bridge if you want to go Montenvers train station where you can take the rack-railway to see the Mer de Glace. Its only a few minutes walk away.
And below is the shopping area in Cham town centre….
As you can see….there are mountain views where ever you go….just lovely!
And….we were also fortunate that there was a moon (even though it was not a full moon) when we were there. Remembering how beautiful it was (when we saw it on the train on our way back the first time we went there)….we made sure we got some shots this time round before going back. Thank God….my old camera found a burst of power (despite the battery being exhausted) after I rubbed it several times to keep warm….otherwise….no photos for keepsake lah!!
The two below were taken from the train…when the sun was setting…
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