France / International Travel

A weekend in Chamonix, France

French Alps near the Swiss border.  SUCH a gorgeous town, and like all mountain towns, the air was absolutely delicious!  I swear walking around made me feel like I was in Vegas or at Disneyland because everything is too perfect. The shutters are perfectly aged, the paths are all cobble stone, the signs are hand-painted, you can drink from the public fountains because the water is so clean, and there is a rushing chalky river running through the city.

Eats.  After a very disappointing $50 dinner at Restaurant L’Impossible (AVOID – terrible food, mediocre portions) it was getting pretty late.  On our walk back to the hotel, my friends and I were fortunate enough to stumble upon the Midnight Express, open late!  OH YES.  Doesn’t the establishment just look legit?

I wasn’t sure what to get, so I asked a British guy in line what he was ordering. He recommended the: “Baguette with Steak, Fromage (cheese) and Frites (French Fries), served with American Sauce.”  Well, the minute he said that, the cashier handed him a hot grilled baguette oozing with cheese and dripping with juice, so I immediately ordered one (duh).

A few minutes later I received my own warm, grilled crusty baguette filled pieces of seasoned hamburger meat (done medium), melted cheese, french fries, and thousand island. O_O Indeed, it was the greatest sandwich I have ever had.  And it wasn’t just because I was hungry – I ate it again the next day and many of my travel companions agreed this sandwich was the real deal.  I swear, this European bread is spoiling me.  It was only $7 USD also, so not too bad.

Midnight Express
Trip Advisor
/ Menu
19 Rue du Docteur Paccard
74400 Chamonix, France

For whatever reason, ice cream seems to be one of the cheaper indulgences in Europe.  I mean, 2 euro ($3 usd) for a double scoop of ice cream?  A bottle of soda costs more than that!  When given a choice between ice cream and soda, the outcome for me is always the same (so dehydrated…).  Also, in Italy, Pesca means Peach, but in Spanish it means Fish- I wonder if this confuses anyone?  Fish flavored ice cream… =/

One of my friends was crazy enough to buy this McDonald’s meal for like $15 usd.  As a small consolation, they do offer beer as a drink option.

Activities.  So what’s there to do in Chamonix?  Well, we did two things that weekend.  First, we visited an ice cave where there was some furniture carved out of ice.  You take a cute little train to the site, where there is a convenience store (see the pink star ice cream above), and a short trail, which leads down to the ice caves.  I didn’t think these were anything special – but you can read virtual tourist and make the call for yourself.

The second activity we did, which was quite a bit more exciting, was water raft down that rushing, chalky stream I mentioned earlier.  It was cold, but really fun, and you get to see more of Chamonix!  Just look for ads at your hotel, we just booked through whoever and had a blast!  No pictures of that one, sorry!

My first brush with France!  We shall meet again in a few weeks when I return to tackle Paris and Nice~


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