A Year in France, Chamonix, Champagne, Dijon, Family Travels, France, Kir, Les Houches, Mont Blanc, Wine, Writing
Hello to you!
The temperatures in Champagne were getting downright unbearable so we decided to head out on our first overnight road trip to the French Alps and Chamonix – ahhhh, the mountains! After a six hour car ride, we were rewarded by some of the most amazing mountain views I have ever seen.
We booked in for four nights at the family run Hotel Chris-Tal in Les Houches (pronounced Lezoosh – not leshoooochez) – like we were saying – good grief. We absolutely fell in love with the village of Chamonix – it had everything I could have asked for – complete with wine shops and dog friendly restaurants – Muriel and Murphy Brown were with us the entire time.
We did the gondola and tram ride up to Brévant with an altitude of 2525 meters in the sky which equals about 8,300 feet high. The weather did not agree with our timing and the heavens opened and it started to pour with rain so we popped inside for lunch hoping it would clear. It didn’t so we downloaded back into Chamonix where we came upon a celebration for mountain guides – present and past.
I am not a mountain climber and I personally have no interest in that kind of physical, mental and emotional endurance but I have a boatload of respect for those who do the sport. There were live climbing demonstrations alongside high wire tightrope walking … it was all a bit surreal and fascinating at the same time. Mackenzie fell in love with Chamonix and Les Houches as it reminded us all of the North Shore mountains and home.
For a more leisurely drive back to Champagne, we decided to have a night and day in Dijon. I read up on my review websites and we made a reservation at Carte Blanche – it was hands down the best meal we have had in France so far. I had my first ever Kir. Have you tried one? It is a French cocktail made with 1/3 of an ounce of crème de cassis with 3 ounces of white wine – usually Bourgogne Aligoté. You know I love my Burgundy white wines and I am a massive fan of blackcurrant so it was a happy-making cocktail for this gal.
The next morning, we followed The Owl’s Trail walk around Dijon which led us from one famous and historical part of the city to another – a fantastic idea and one that kept Mackenzie quite enthralled. (Thank you to Eleanor Gill for the suggestion).
The get away was just what the doctor ordered and while we were away, the temperatures cooled down in Champagne and there was a bit of much needed rain.
Vendage (harvest) starts next week – there is a flurry of activity picking up in the Champagne region. I have been asked if I want to volunteer for a few hours so that I can see the process and be a part of it. Of course I said ‘YES’!
This is fantastic Christine!!!
Carol Liston Campbell said:
Sounds like lovely travels with excellent activities, accommodation and food ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🙋
Jo, Ross, Toby and Mabel King said:
Hi Christine, I’m glad the weather has cooled for you, Mabel is ever so glad for this cooler weather as I bet your two are as well!!
We’ve been back just over a week now, missing the alps and everything French! Lovely to get to know you and your family in the street in Chamonix! Perhaps we’ll bump into each other again!
Jo, Ross, Toby and Mabel (choc Lab or princess thunder pants!)
Christine Campbell, FWS said:
Hello!!!! Thank you for reaching out. We were thrilled to have met you in Chamonix – truly a magical place and one of my favourite places in France so far.
We have volunteered with harvest this week and tomorrow I think I have a VERY full day ahead of me.
We hope to see you again.
Sending love from Champagne…
Christine, David, Mackenzie, Muriel and Murphy Brown. XO