Mont Blanc

And here I was thinking I didn’t get to see it.
We woke up early again though not as insanely early as yesterday to see one of the most famous mountains in Europe if not the world. In my humble childhood I’d often heard the name Mont Blanc as a well-publicized, pricey writing pen, one that either people collected or was used by serious business executives. It was far from any practical application in my life then, and more especially now when cursive writing is as alien as using a public pay phone.
To see the highest peak in the European Alps we had to cross over again to France to the resort area of Chamonix, a quaint town but sadly with not much to see. It reminded me a lot of Lake Tahoe to be honest.

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And maybe it’s due to it being summer with not too much snow visible on the mountainside that I wasn’t completely blown away, the mountains looking quite unremarkable at first glance – though the cable car that took us up did make my feet sweat after that first unexpected drop. I didn’t realize the threat of a sudden crashing death was part of the package tour.
It turned out that there are two cable car rides to get to Aiguille du Midi, the observation deck nestled on one of the peaks, and once we were on the second ride it started to get far more interesting. As we climbed there was a welcome cold in stark contrast with the mugginess on ground level and the whole panorama was suddenly covered in thick snow. It was also much less insane compared to our earlier trip to Jungfraujoch yesterday, more manageable except for the line to view the Step Into The Void, a transparent box hovering over the edge of the mountain, that unfortunately we had little time to see. If there was anything to complain about it would be the somewhat chaotic and confusing way we were given entry to the first cable car ride that could have been planned and explained much better.
Even though I thought I hadn’t really seen Mont Blanc, the pictures don’t lie. Everything else was as good as could be expected and much like the fountain pen of my youth the experience lived up to its pricey and well-publicized reputation.

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