On July 3rd, I arrived at the airport in Geneva. I had never been to Europe alone, although, it was a very comfortable feeling for me. I had a plan to first visit Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. It is located in the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy. It is most commonly visited in the winter for the phenomenal mountains for skiing. However, it should not be isolated as a cold weather vacation spot. In the beginning of July, the skies are blue, the weather is warm and welcoming. The architecture is beautiful and quaint, extremely perfect for a couple who wants to roam the streets of the charming town and visit the hidden treasures of the unreal restaurants and bars. The food is catered for the hikers and athletes that ski when the mountains are covered in snow. Here you will find the best fondue, pizza, and a mix of French and Italian cuisine.
I arrived from Geneva to Chamonix late that afternoon, I was exhausted from my flight from New York. All I wanted to do was take a nap at the beautiful Heliopic Hotel and Spa that is located in the perfect forefront of the village. However, I ran into a fellow traveler who was also alone in Europe for the first time. She had long blonde hair and was struggling to carry her suitcase down the hallway. This is when I first met Ashley. We began to discuss our plans for our summer in Europe and within ten minutes we felt as if we had known each other for years. We decided to travel together from that point on...
Her and I spent the next few days exploring what Chamonix had to offer. It was exciting and new for the both of us. We share a love for Veuve Clicquot and the best restaurants we can find. Our favorite restaurant was an Italian spot called Casa Valerio. The pasta was to die for and the wine list was up to our standards. At that point I had lived in Siena, Italy for a summer and had become quite the wine connoisseur.
Despite having only discussed the breathtakingly good food and wine Chamonix has to offer, the activities are endless. People will ride bikes along the streets and go hiking almost every morning. We had the amazing experience of seeing the famous Mont-Blanc from the mountain that is beside it, Le Brévent. We would highly reccomend this mountain, we took a cable car up the mountain and the view is something that everyone should see. Being surrounded by these famous white capped mountains will take your breath away, you will feel as if you are in the clouds.
About 30 minutes outside of Chamonix, easily taken by train, you will find a melting glacier that is one of the most beautiful yet tragic sites one can experience near the city. We boarded a retro red train, just walking distance from our hotel, to go visit the glacier and witness what is a true depiction of our rapidly changing climate. As you walk down the steps to the glacier, you will see signs of how high the ice was year by year. It is eye opening and something that will truly change your perspective on the world and how we should treat our home.
When you reach the bottom of the steps, you will find ice blue beauty that you can walk into, seeing carvings and tunnels through the glacier, reminding you what a tragedy it is that we will soon no longer have this world wonder to witness.
Only the beginning...