Thursday, October 20, 2011

Encore Chamonix

What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks disappearing? - It's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies. ~Jack Kerouac

Crazy ventures, there were a few. And now life took full circle. Almost a year after I had come there for the first time, I arrived once again in a place where I had the time of my life. Burning with anticipation from the very beginning of my hitchhiking there, I got more and more excited as the kilometers passed by. In leaps and bounds at the beginning (despite quite late start at 11, at 1 I was almost at the Swiss border, thanks to a driver who picked me up in a town just 40 km away from my starting point), dragging a little at the end. Surprisingly it took some time to get a ride to Martigny, with most of the traffic heading the opposite direction, and from there to Chamonix. N'est pas un problème pour moi, I tenaciously waited until somebody would stop and take me to the place where my memories remain the same way I got there one year ago. 

One sign that took me all the way to Karlsruhe.

This one brought me to Bern early in the morning.

I slowly started bursting with excitement when I saw the vineyards of Martigny, the sign "Dès la frontière 21,5 km," when I drove up the switchbacks above Martigny, which reminds me of taking off every time I do it, when I passed through every other village after the border: Vallorcine, where we got stuck due to an avalanche in December, Argentiere, which I mistook for Chamonix when I passed it for the first time, Les Tines, the destination of two hitchhikers we gave a ride, Les Praz, which seemed more cozy and peaceful than Chamonix; and finally Chamonix itself, where an extremely friendly elderly lady touring France in her green van dropped me off at Place du Mont Blanc. 

Martigny, almost France

Is there anything more awesome than being able to lie down after more than 24 hours of sitting and standing? All thanks to...

...Hélène, in her late sixties; thousands of kilometers in France alone in her van.

A simple happenstance place where I found myself not having anything else interesting to do over the winter. And now, when I read my second blog entry (click here to view), I have a feeling that such events don't happen by chance.

What else could I do than bring forth these memories, hidden in landscapes infested with mountains, exploding fall colors and tiny 18m² in Les Houches; all of them calling for attention?

Since the Sun whimsically does what it does, I had to be patient until I could feel like in Provence again.

This randez-vous ends around 11.

After this, even without a shirt... can enjoy the best view from above!
There was a time to meet friends. There was a time to be foolish...

How to be a douchebag on the slope...

How to stay extra safe on the slope...

...and time to do useful things...

How to make an Icelandic hat even warmer or "this time it's not me who's playing with the needle." only the time that I move into some warm and snug apartment and seeing snow-capped mountains become the order of the day has to come!

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is a worthwhile read. Aside from your thrilling Chamonix adventure, you were able to share a truly inspiring experience. Thanks.