Day 2 - Facing The White Mountain
Starting point: Passy
Distance: ca 250 km
Even though the house was quite charming with an amazing view of the valley, I couldn't sleep. I woke up at 5:30 am, and soon I was ready to go for a ride. Before I left the place I received a message from a friend asking if I am safe, because a 19 tonne cargo truck had deliberately driven into the crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France. I thought a little about it, and since I was planning to go to Nice the very next day, I realized that I had to think about additional risks too. After all, France is, sort of, at war, and I was planning to go to Corsica too, which is a Mediterranean island that belongs to France. I quickly decided, I will neither stay at nor visit Nice.
My plan, that day, was to visit Chamonix, and take a cable car up to Aiguille du Midi - Step into the Void, and with just a 20 min ride, I would be able to enjoy the gateway to the high Alps at a height of 3842 meters. The place was very crowded, because it's the easiest way to reach a higher altitude without being in a peak physical condition. It offered a 360 degree view of the entire French, Swiss and Italian Alps. The mountain view and the highest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc which stood at a majestic 4,807 meters, being the main attraction. Many local agencies seduce tourists by offering a lifetime opportunity of getting to the summit without needing any sort of climbing experience. As a result, Mont Blanc is one of the world's deadliest mountains.
After Aiguille du Midi, I decided to explore possibly every place around the area where I was staying, no matter how small. Passy, one of the biggest French valleys, lies at the foot of the Mont Blanc, and is split by the Arve river. With small charming houses and blooming gardens, it creates a marvelous landscape. And of course, tasting the local specialties was a must.
The price for the cable car from Chamonix to Aiguille du Midi is 58 Euros.
There is one stop in between on Plan de l'Aiguille at 2317 meters. Weather is not very different to Chamonix, only a bit colder.
Immediately upon arrival at Aiguille du Midi, everyone gets a ticket with the exact time of return. Everyone has approximately 1.5 hour which is quite enough, unless someone decides to continue a journey with the Panoramic Mont-Blanc gondola lift.
Parking lot is available 5 minutes walking distance from the cable car station.
Parking for a motorcycle is free of charge.
A lot of mountain roads are with holes and cracks.