Last weekend I ticked off another notch on my road to becoming truly French. If you can believe it, in all my years in France, I’d never been to the Alps. I’d never seen Mont Blanc in real life. I’d never spent the quintessential French winter holiday in the Haut-Savoie… Now I can check that one off the list!
Hopping on the TGV at Gare de Lyon in Paris, I didn’t know what the long weekend had in store for me. It was a surprise. Four hours later, I stepped off the train in Sallanches at the foot of Mont Blanc and the site took my breath away.
Sallanches, which is near Cluses and Megève. Is one of the best places to begin a winter holiday if you want to see the Alps in all their glory. The sky shone sapphire blue for us all four days. It’s hard for me to describe to you how beautiful this part of the world is! Magnifique, as they say in French. Truly something the likes of which I’ve never seen before. I took over 100 pictures so that I could share it with you.
While we were in the region, we ate the traditional Savoie fare: tartiflette, raclette, fondue savoyarde and tasted the regional cheese, Reblochon, in various forms.
I used to be a big time skier, but in my 30s a certain fear has gripped me, so I spent my time in the Alps snow shoeing, sitting by the fire in our lodge, and visiting the adorable villages that trace the foot of these majestic mountains – the lovely pedestrian town center in Megève, Annecy reminiscent of a Venice by the Alps and for which we took the Route des Grandes Alpes, Combloux for snow shoeing, Cordon for a tartiflette lunch…
It was a magical experience. No wonder the French continue this tradition year after year. I hope to do the same!
Here are the photos… 104 in total, everything from the first view of the Alps from the train, to the lodge, the villages, the horse-drawn carriages, snow shoeing, and lunch out on a terrace before Mont Blanc.