29 photos

We leave Dijon and head towards Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (or Chamonix), a resort area near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy where we spend the night. At the base of Mont Blanc, it is the highest summit in the Alps and is renowned for its alpine skiing. There are numerous panoramic views, including Aiguille du Midi, Pointe Helbronner on the Italian border and Le Brévent.

From the bus the town of Poncin on the banks of the Ain River.

From the bus the town of Poncin on the banks of the Ain River.

From the bus the ruins of one of the late 1800s largest ice harvesting factories on the shore of Lake Sylans.

From the bus the ruins of one of the late 1800s largest ice harvesting factories on the shore of Lake Sylans.

From the bus a farm and some cattle along the Autoroute Blanche.

From the bus a farm and some cattle along the Autoroute Blanche.

Looking more or less north to Valleiry with Geneva way off in the distance from a rest area on the Autoroute Blanche.

Looking more or less north to Valleiry with Geneva way off in the distance from a rest area on the Autoroute Blanche.

Pretty wildflowers near a rest area on the Autoroute Blanche.

Pretty wildflowers near a rest area on the Autoroute Blanche.

From the bus an abandoned Château in Viry. The tower of the Eglise de Viry is visible on the left.

From the bus an abandoned Château in Viry.  The tower of the Eglise de Viry is visible on the left.

From the bus a first view of the Alps!

From the bus a first view of the Alps!

From the bus a first view of the Alps!

From the bus a first view of the Alps!

From the bus a snow slide shed over a road on the way into Chamonix.

From the bus a snow slide shed over a road on the way into Chamonix.

The toe of the Bossons Glacier on Mont Blanc as viewed from Chamonix.

The toe of the Bossons Glacier on Mont Blanc as viewed from Chamonix.

View from the balcony of our room in the Heliopic Hotel in Chamonix of some of the mountains surrounding the town.

View from the balcony of our room in the Heliopic Hotel in Chamonix of some of the mountains surrounding the town.

Jim checking out the GPS map as we wander Chamonix.

Jim checking out the GPS map as we wander Chamonix.

A retired engine. The Montenvers Train is a cog type railway that takes you up to the Mer de Glace glacier.

A retired engine. The Montenvers Train is a cog type railway that takes you up to the Mer de Glace glacier.

Jim by the L'Arve River in the center of Chamonix.

Jim by the L'Arve River in the center of Chamonix.

Aerial tramway from Chamonix to the top of Mont Blanc.

Aerial tramway from Chamonix to the top of Mont Blanc.

From the bus a mountain stream on the way up to the Col des Montets pass.

From the bus a mountain stream on the way up to the Col des Montets pass.

From the bus the Alps on the way up to the summit of the Col des Montets mountain pass between Chamonix and the Swiss Col de la Forclaz and Martigny.

From the bus the Alps on the way up to the summit of the Col des Montets mountain pass between Chamonix and the Swiss Col de la Forclaz and Martigny.

View south from the summit of the Col des Montets mountain pass between Chamonix and the Swiss Col de la Forclaz and Martigny.

View south from the summit of the Col des Montets mountain pass between Chamonix and the Swiss Col de la Forclaz and Martigny.

We stopped at the summit of the Col des Montets mountain pass between Chamonix and the Swiss Col de la Forclaz and Martigny.

We stopped at the summit of the Col des Montets mountain pass between Chamonix and the Swiss Col de la Forclaz and Martigny.

The Alps on the way back from the summit of the Col des Montets mountain pass between Chamonix and the Swiss Col de la Forclaz and Martigny.

The Alps on the way back from the summit of the Col des Montets mountain pass between Chamonix and the Swiss Col de la Forclaz and Martigny.