Kelly ma cousine* d'amerique

...comes for a visit in June 2018

Kelly arrives just as I had planned to visit a place in the mountains that my great grand father went to in 1908. She agrees to join me on the short drive from Geneva (after her three hour TGV train ride from Paris).

*Kelly est vraiment la petite cousine de mon epouse Carol qui visite sa maman actuellement

Below is a picture of the cabane du couvercle from 1908 just above the mer de glace in Chamonix...my great grandfather is the 6th from the right and

my great grand mother is to his right with her beautiful hat and smile. They climbed mountains and crossed the mer de glace glacier dressed like that back then.

In Chamonix we hop on the cog-train to Montenvers (originally built in 1905) and arrive at an altitude of 1900 meters some 30 minutes later above the mer de glace.

I remember taking this train 50 years ago after skiing down the vallée blanche with my friend Sergio (we still ski together). But it came as a shock when I realised

the short walk from the glacier to the train station had changed: the glacier had melted down some 250 meters VERTICAL in 50 years

 

so now we have to take a cable car and walk 500 steps down to the glacier and visit the groto inside the glacier... nice and cool down inside there.

As we come back up to the Montenvers station we inquire about the mountain hut 'cabane du couvercle'

It is located beyond the second ridge on the left (at 2700m elevation) as you go up the glacier. About 5 to 6 hours walk.

And then several hundred meters of vertical steel ladders. So maybe some other day I will have the courage and physical strength to go up there.

After hiking up for 45 minutes or so , we decide to go back down and take one of the last trains to the valley below.

In the evening, after a filet de perche dinner, we drive downtown for the geneva music festival. During the week-end there are over 500 free concerts all over the city in parks and court yards in the old town. And as Switzerland beat Serbia in the world cup that evening , there was also a lot of celebration everywhere.

Next day we visit the mecca of swiss cheese (and home of fondue and raclette) : GRUYERES. Less than 2 hours from Geneva.

We aslo venture up the Moleson mountain for a typical swiss croute au fromage.

As we take the 'easy way up' , Kelly chats in fluent Chinese with Chris from Hong Kong ...and the swiss guide drops his jaw in awe :-)

At the top, with a beautiful 360 degree panorama of lake Geneva, the alps, Gruyeres below....

Kelly chats in fluent French with the two hardy and friendly climbers (they say it was easy!)

Kelly says she wants to try this next time she is back !

In Gruyeres castle we get to enjoy a medieval festival where several hundred people coming

from all over Switzerland show and tell what it was like back then:-)

(probably the scenery and the cheese have not changed)

In the evening Nick prepared a deeelish BBQ dinner for us all. And Kelly gets to try some real raclette too.

So Kelly, come back and visit us again! There's lots more to see.