“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of
them are dirt.” -John Muir
As much as I love London, every few months my feet are restless for some walking, that doesn’t involve the daily commute to school, my lungs are desperate for clean air and my soul longs for a pretty mountain view. With its rushing rivers, deep valleys and craggy peaks, a weekend in Chamonix filled me up with so many good things–wine, cheese, meat, breathtakingly beautiful hikes, sunshine and long nights of card games.
We stayed at a B&B slightly out of town called The Schoolhouse which, as the name indicates, use to be an old school for the nearby village of Taconnaz. The place itself is rough around the edges, but charming and nestled in the beautiful valley, and it’s also way cheaper than most of the hotels in Chamonix. When we arrived there was no one to be found except for two dogs playing in the yard so we dropped off our things and went in search of some French wine and cheese. The necessities, of course.
After an hour in the supermarche, roaming the aisles and gawking at all the yummy meats and cheese, we had a picnic at our B&B and then headed into Chamonix to wander its cute streets.
On the second day, we woke up at the crack of dawn to go for an early hike because we thought the afternoon would be stormy. The lift we wanted to take up for a hike was closed, so we followed a nearby trail and ended up in all the lostness finding Chalet de la Floria, which colorfully juts over the mountain side and was well worth the hike. At the beginning of the hike a dog, who we ended up naming Ben II, followed us all the way up to the Chalet and then spent some time with us as we drank tea and soaked in the panoramic views.
We hiked the Petit Balcon Sud back into Chamonix and then took the (terrifying) gondola up to Plan Praz to find more sweeping views of the south slope and Mont Blanc. From Plan Praz you can take the cable car further up to Le Brevent or set out on many other hikes like the Grand Balcon Sud or to Lake Cornu.
Chamonix, you’re a dream.
Getting there: Fly into Geneva and catch the EasyBus to Chamonix
Where to stay: The Schoolhouse