The French and Swiss Alps

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After several days of hustling with European and American crowds in Paris, I boarded a 1-hour flight direct to Geneva, Switzerland. Via a bus from the airport, I crossed back into French territory to visit Chamonix – a mountain resort in the French Alps, near the meeting point of 3 countries (France, Switzerland and Italy).

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From my petite AirBnB apartment, I was treated to a picturesque view of the quaint town against a backdrop of the snowcapped Alps. This was in April, when snow no longer fell but stuck on at high altitudes enough for skiing. 

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One of the highlights was Mer de Glace, the largest glacier in France, which I had to ascend the mountain in the Montenvers Railway for. Unfortunately, due to climate change, the glacier is fast shrinking. I took a gruelling 520 steps down endless of stairs to reach the bottom and the Ice Cave carved inside the glacier – back in 1988, only 3 steps were needed. Nonetheless, my first glacier and ice cave experience was pretty majestic.

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Other activities I did were: skiing (which I did not take a liking to), and ascending the Aiguille du Midi for a close up view of the peak of Mont Blanc (features a scary cable car ride).

Bidding goodbye to the town, I took multiple connecting trains to arrive in Zermatt, Switzerland. Compared to Chamonix, the town of Zermatt was more touristy and crowded, prices of food and other essentials were double-fold, and locals were less friendly. 

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On the brighter note, the views were magical. My favorite being the one taken from the Zermatt Matterhorn Viewpoint (it is literally named as such on Google Maps), where I caught Blue Hour. Though I believe that it would be more magnificent in winter with snow on rooftops, the view was still very much worth the hike up. 

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At Gornegrat, there was also a clear, central view of the Matterhorn, albeit with more tourists, many of which were accompanied with a bar of Toblerone… 

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