Dawn at the valley – French Alps

It was an overcast aprilish day in 2013 when we reached Geneva and intermittent rains welcomed us. First time I had just booked the 4 days return flight trip from Geneva and not booked any hotels/stay before landing there. Me and my friends went to the AVIS counter asking to rent a small and cheap car to roam around. To our surprise we were handed over keys of a BMW. Quite a deal at 300 euros for 4 days with insurance. And here my dear friend, Sujay, being an excellent driver took over the wheels in an jiffy before AVIS staff could change their minds. Off we went, through the city towards the mountains calling. The city was a hub of major swiss luxury watch brands from Rolex to Chopard. Imagining luxury living and seeing those names, resonated with the feeling of riding a BMW like a boss, if only for just a few days.

As we crossed the city, we saw the mountains replacing high rises and the vicinity turning into more of a rural landscape. People horse riding on the roads, horse ranches and huts gave us a preview of what to expect.

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The first halt we took was in a quaint li’l town called Sallanches. We landed there chasing a gigantic waterfall. The sound of water crashing on the rocks, turning into a small quiet stream showcased the adaptability of nature. Closeby was also a lake with a man-made beach for inland people’s leisure.

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After lunch we headed out further along the lake Geneva towards Chamonix. By the time we made it, it was already dark and we needed a place to crash for the night. We started searching budget hotels on booking.com nearby. The site readily detected our location and gave us innumerous options starting at 30 euros a night. We chose Le Fontenay and started driving towards it in total darkness along the hairpin curves climbing up a mountain. This place’s caretaker quickly provided us with a 3bhk apartment and after a day long of exploring we dropped like bowling pins on our beds.

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Then came the dawn and one glance through our window made our hearts jump with joy, surprise and admiration. We were looking directly at the french alps surrounding a valley of civilization, Chamonix. The sun rays were glistening on the snow capped mountains and playing shadows with the clouds. Most stunning sight I ever saw in my life. After a sumptuous scrambled eggs breakfast made by the caretaker himself, we were advised to drive further up the road we had taken earlier. And as we did we had the rendezvous with The Mont Blanc. And yes it is the same name which inspired the brand Mont Blanc to make men’s accessories sophisticated, luxurious and classic. And you could visualize why.

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This perfect li’l café La Bougnetterie at perfect location catered us for couple of hours till it was time to leave to pick up another friend from Geneva airport but which none of us wanted to.

“So here comes the truth that we kept a secret for a while now from you, Innu. We wouldn’t have been late if our hearts and minds were not blown away that day with the breathtaking sight of the highest peak in europe, The Mont Blanc and its fellow alps. Forgive us, won’t you :)”.

 

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