Written & Photography By Anandaraj Rajakumar
It’s not even an easy dream for a boy from a middle class Indian family to go to the top of the Italy’s highest peak, that’s Monte Bianco the highest peak in the Alps region.
Mont Blanc (French) or Monte Bianco (Italian), meaning “White Mountain”, is the highest mountain in the Alps, Western Europe and the European Union. It rises 4,810.45 m above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. It is also sometimes known as La Dame Blanche (French for “the White Lady”) or Il Bianco (Italian for “the White One” . The Mountain lies in a range called the Graian Alps, between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy and Haute-Savoie, France. The location of the summit is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the Arve Valley in France.
The two most famous towns near Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in Aosta Valley, Italy and Chamonix in Haute-Savoie, France — the site of the first Winter Olympics. A cable car ascends and crosses the mountain from Courmayeur to Chamonix. Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the 11.6 km (7¼ mi) Mont Blanc Tunnel runs beneath the mountain between these two countries and is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes. The Mont Blancmassif is popular for mountaineering, hiking, skiing and snowboarding.
All these things are its history & geography, just for your G.K. But I really went for relaxing and unleashing with my camera to take some nice landscape pictures of “The wonderful White lady “.
The journey starts from my place Chivasso .The town near by Torino. Its Just an hour and half to reach the historic place called Aosta.
Aosta is a very historic place as like as all Italian Favorites places. But it has an quite good significant place in history book, that is securing roman capital from northern part. In the Period of the great dictator “Mussolini”, The Forced programme of “Italianization’ was happened in this place. It’s all the four side surrounded by mountains Alps, in centre you can see lots of Roman Ruins & medieval age castles. Since myself and my friend have seen already lots of ruins of Romans. We are not interested to see its past once again. So we continued our journey to see the Mother Nature form top of the Monte Bianco.
From Aosta, we caught a bus and went to the town – Courmayeur – which lives beneath the Monte Bianco. The journey from Aosta to Courmayeur was about one hour. While traveling, the mountain and river guarded us, but I enjoyed in a different way by listening to Maestro Illayaraj songs and seeing the beauty of Mother Nature through my camera lens.
Courmayeur is well connected to north-western Italy (220 km from Milan). The Mont Blanc Tunnel links the region to Lyonis, France which is 240 km away. Geneva, Switzerland, is just 100 km away. If you know skiing and ice skating, Courmayeur is the best place you should never miss in life. We thought that’s it, all our journey ends here. So we can start hike, but it didn’t stop. Once we approached the tourist desk to get the map to roam around. The Lady in the counter changed our mind to go to the top of the mountain, since it was a nice sunny day.
Our ancestors are great people; they had mentioned “human originated from apes”, to prove this, we jumped from our original plan to go to the mountain top and changed our action plan. We got into another shuttle bus, luckily they dint charged us for travelling as it is free of cost. Within 10 mins we reached to La palud. (Its right beneath the bottom of Monte Bianco)
We were dancing and doing some actions to explain, what we want?… where we want to go ?… Which way to go to the rope car Station. After doing all these drama when we turned back there is an information board explaining everything… I learnt a lesson that day, “To look around carefully”.
So we started walking for 200m. We reached the station. The rope car is in three stages (i.e. three different rope cars will take you to the altitude of 3452 m height).The place, La Palud is at 1370m high from sea level. From there we went to Pavilion Dumont Frety. At last we went to the point, reached to an altitude of 3462 m. Since we thought it was a sunny day we didn’t prepare for this shivering cold. Even though it was cold it very pleasant and clam. Black clouds were rounding us. It was very beautiful and very stunning to see this view. We spent more than one hour. I didn’t have heart to leave this place. Since my tooth started typing like an typewriter, we had to go back down. In the half way to La palud, in one of the station, there were coffee shop and crystal museum. We had nice and hot Italian coffee by enjoying the view.
Apart from this in La palud, there were lots of restaurant. As you know very well Italian cuisines are very rich taste in flavours, after enjoying the Mother Nature and all our energy drained out, we planned to put our hands on local food. We went to an restaurant, which luckily had menu card in English. So after long analysis on what to eat, I planned to go directly to main course and dessert along with mountain sprinkling water.
I had ordered Taglierini pasta with wild mushroom and white cream. With lots of seasoning and pepper. After that, I had ordered my favourite dessert ‘Tiramisu’. I enjoyed the richness of the food. It is always important to try the local food where ever you go.
Once again, as like a stretched rubber band, we came back to mechanized working world. But the trip was very nice and relaxing. The lady who has given idea to go the top of mountain was angel or else I would have missed that one. Now I can go and start my next week work feeling calm mentally.
Everyone should visit this heavenly place sometime. The right time to visit this place is on the month of June to October. But I went in an off season its ok. I will go once again whenever the Mother Nature calls me to speak with me.
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