Chamonix and Mt Blanc
4 October 2015
So yesterday we embarked on a supremely touristy endeavour: a bus tour to Chamonix/Mt Blanc.
Chamonix is the township at the bottom of Mt Blanc. Its elevation is about 3000 ft, and the Aiguille du Midi at the top of the cable car (or telepherique) is at just over 12,600 ft. The cable car ride is in two stages, and the second stage is the largest stretch of unsupported cable in the world: over a kilometre between ‘pylons’. And, now having been a passenger, I can see why. How they installed any of what is up that mountain is entirely beyond me.
The effects of altitude are most definitely felt. There are a number of levels within the structure at the top (as you will be able to see from some of the images below), so there are many stairs to climb. I felt light-headed and slightly nauseous and the heart was thumping away. Happily for me a wee rest and things improved quickly. But there were a number of elderly Chinese women who seemed to be finding it hard going.
The views are spectacular, and it is impossible to give a feel for the scale in photographs. It is also very cold–and this you CAN see in the images!