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Mike & Katie's Alpine Adventures - Days 14, 15 & 16 (Viva la France!)

Day 14 (Wednesday 7/26) saw us board the magic bus at 8:30 sharp as be bid auf wiedersehen to Switzerland and set our sights on Chamonix France. This was our last bus ride together with the group and Brian, our Rick Steves guide for the tour, made it a bit more special by providing some chocolate treats as we traveled down the highway. For our break, we stopped at Gruyere for a quick snack, group photo, and a photo op with a bunch of creatively painted cow sculptures (Katie chose the peace and love cow which really moooooved the inner hippie in Mike) :-)

We finally arrived at the hotel in Chamonix in the early afternoon before all of our rooms were actually ready, so we put all of our luggage in a locked storage room and took off on a quick orientation tour of the city led by Brian. Once we got back to the hotel, we unpacked and ate a hearty dinner around the corner at the Le Monchu restaurant where we feasted on the a traditional Alpine dish, reblochonnade, which was basically melting your own cheese wheel in a small tableside oven and then pouring it over potatoes and sausage. Hearty and filling!!

Day 15 (Thursday 7/27) was an absolute PERFECT day as the sun was shining and the crisp blue sky radiated behind the puffy white clouds. Katie and I decided that it would be a great day for a riverside hike. So after our morning breakfast and coffee we took off on the path through town and walked on the trail until we arrived at Les Praz. We decided that we should keep going to Les Tines further down the road. It probably took us a bit longer that usual to complete the walk because we constantly were stopping to take pictures of the ruggedly beautiful mountains, which included Mt. Blanc, the third highest point in Europe at 15,778 ft. We also might have stopped for ice cream...which we NEVER do! Once we arrived to Les Tines, we began our trek back to Chamonix, stopping in Les Praz for a delicious lunch which included our drink of the vacation, an aperol spritz.

Once we returned to the hotel, we rested up and went out to meet our tour-mates for a host sponsored happy hour as a kind of "end-of-the-tour" celebration where we all snacked on appetizer dishes, had a few drinks, and essentially said our good-byes. Once most everyone left, our tour buddies Diane and Cindy, along with Brian, decided that we all needed to play a few rounds of bowling before heading out. We laughed and had such a great time as we enjoyed some extra fun time together. Side note: Katie won one of the matches, so lookout if she ever challenges you to a bowling match....she's good!!

The next day (Friday 7/28 - day 16), Katie and I had our final breakfast at the Chamonix hotel, said some goodbyes, and boarded the train for our final destination of our vacation: Montreux Switzerland. We arrived a bit after 3pm, checked in to our amazing hotel on the shore of Lake Geneva, walked the promenade on the shoreline for a good amount of time, visited the Freddie Mercury statue, and had a nice Indian food dinner. More about our Montreux on the next post in a few days.

That's all for now. Until next time, au revoir!!