Day trip to the Alps

Here in Annecy we are very close to the border with Switzerland. Knowing we were that close, I wanted to take a day trip into Geneva and from there into the Alps.

This started our first transportation adventure of the trip. We bought bus tickets for the fairly short drive between Annecy and Geneva (about 50 minute bus ride). We planned out an afternoon in Geneva to visit the United Nations, the Red Cross museum, and a boat ride in Lake Geneva.

Unfortunately I got an email saying that our bus was running 110 minutes late. In actuality, the bus was running about three hours late. So, we were at the bus station (the NINE of us) with hours to go, and a crazy heat wave going on.

We decided to walk back to the grandparents’ hotel and wait in the lobby so we had at least a small stream of air conditioning. France isn’t quite known for its AC.

The girls took the opportunity to wait in a very long line for what we were assured was “the third best ice cream in France.” I’m not sure who exactly did the rankings, but apparently word has gotten around because there is always a tremendously long line despite the countless other gelato options down the street.

Verdict- it was good for sure, but not sure I would rank it higher than any others we had this trip. 🙂

Finally our bus arrived and we started what was supposed to be a 50 minute drive to Geneva. Unfortunately for us, the driver had us load the bus and then didn’t drive for another 30 minutes. Then, half way there he pulled the bus over to the side of the road and had us sit for another 45 minutes without explanation, until another bus driver came to take over. When it was all said and done we arrived in Geneva at around 9:15 pm, too late to do anything other than grab dinner at the only restaurant around that could sit a group our size.

We enjoyed the fondue, but that was the extent of our Switzerland experience.

The next morning we set out on an official tour to Chamonix and Mont Blanc, which are located in the French alps. We had a rather uneventful trip there once we found our bus, and we were greeted with incredible views of the alps throughout the trip.

Once there we took a couple of gondolas up to the top of the highest peak of Mont Blanc. It was exciting for some and terrifying for others on our journey. At the top we had an option to take an elevator to a high observation deck, and several of us jumped on that opportunity while others let themselves slowly adjust to the altitude from the safety of the cafeteria.

After our return trip on the gondolas, we took a little open air train to the top of a peak in a different direction where we could get a good look at a glacier known as Mer de Glace. We arrived at the top of the mountain and then had to take yet another gondola AND over 500 steps down to the glacier.

At the bottom of the stairs we had the option of walking into an ice cave, into the glacier. We jumped at this once in a lifetime opportunity!

During our walk down the mountain we saw tags at different locations showing where the glacier had been at different years. It was incredible to see how much the glacier had melted. I encouraged the kids to commit these pictures into their memory considering their children will probably only know of glaciers from reading about them in books.

The 500+ stairs going back up the mountain wasn’t quite as fun as going down, but we all made it.

Our transportation woes continued, however, when the bus we were aiming to take back to Annecy was full, causing us to have to stay in Chamonix for another three hours. We made good use of our time, however, and enjoyed each other’s company in yet another hotel lobby. But this time there were martinis in addition to the ice cream.

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1 Response to Day trip to the Alps

  1. Renee says:

    Incredible views and experiences not counting the travel woes🤪

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