MARTYN'S MIX - CHAMONIX, FRANCE
Main Guestbook Panto Cyprus Chamonix
Archive9799
Archive2000
Archive2001
Memorabilia
WebcamPics
Disneyland London Bristol Webcam Me Bowling Snooker Exmoor Cycling Counters Stormchasing Streetlamps

Before 1997 I had never had a holiday abroad, apart from the odd short break in France and Jersey. I have been to southern Ireland for a week but I don't really class that as being abroad.
A good friend, Pete, (who I know from pantos as he is the lighting director) invited me to go on hols with himself, Ian and another pal called Shane (more about him in the bowling section) down to Chamonix in the French Alps for 10 days in 1997. I jumped at the chance. I have also been back there in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003.
Pete is an avid fan of railways (both models and the real thing) and has been down to the French Alps region nearly 20 times, organising the trip so that train travel is used for much of the journeys. He used to take his mother before she passed away and now invites people like me. The photos below are from my summer holidays there. I have not put online any of the 2003 photos as a lot of the area has already been covered by the previous years photos (plus I haven't got a lot of room left on this webspace!!)
Chamonix (or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc) in in the Haute-Savoie area of France, on the border with both Switzerland and Italy, and it is easy to pop over the borders into these countries. After taking a cross channel ferry, the train journeys down to Chamonix are excellent. It has to be said that SNCF - the train company of France - is much better than the privatised network that services the UK, in terms of reliability, punctuality, cleanliness, comfort and overall operation. The TGV (Train de Grand Vitesse) whisks you across France much faster than Britain's Inter City 125s. We have stopped off in Grenoble and Avignon before using local train services to get to Chamonix - which uses wonderful old but clean electric trains to climb up to the Chamonix valley at over 1000m - they are trying to replace these old trains with modern ones which Pete thinks is a real shame as they lack the character of the old ones.
In 1997 we actually stayed in a hotel in Le Fayet-les Bains, approximately 20 kilometres south-west of Chamonix and took the old trains to the town. From 1999 onwards we stayed in a hotel in Chamonix itself (the Hotel Pointe Isabelle) to save on travelling costs.
There is lots and lots to do in the area and many places to see using either the excellent cable-car and chair-lift system or trains (including rack and pinion railways to climb up to spectacular scenery).

Some of the places to see are as follows - see map of the region at right......
MAP...
...MAP

There are many other sights to be seen in the area, including Mont Blanc itself - the highest mountain in Europe at 4807 metres. It is a holiday thoroughly recommended if you are the type of person that likes the outdoors, and it is a good place to ski in the winter as well - which I haven't done yet, but you never know!
Another place I was sad to leave on each occasion, but I know I will be back there soon.

 

PICS AND MAP...

ARCHIVE OF PICS TAKEN IN 1997 AND 1999

ARCHIVE OF PICS TAKEN IN 2000

ARCHIVE OF PICS TAKEN IN 2001

Click here for scanned holiday memorabilia of Chamonix and France.

Click here for various webcam pictures of Chamonix weather.


Map of France
(red x in the box is Chamonix)

...PICS AND MAP

Links to Chamonix & TGV on the WWW
www.chamonix.net
www.chamonix.com (in French only*)
www.cs.berkeley.edu/~qtluong/mountain/chamonix/
lynx.uio.no/mbl.html

www.sncf.fr/indexe.htm (includes TGV services)
www.webcam-montblanc.com

*why not try AltaVista's translation web page at babel.altavista.com

<<BACK TO MAIN