Courmayeur

June 20

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Courmayeur is a ski resort of less that 3000 people near the French and Swiss borders. To arrive here from Geneva, I took a bus to the French border town of Chamonix and from there, a separate small bus through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Courmeyeur. I thought I would like to be in the mountains during the time of year when the rest of Italy is very hot, and my Sicilian friend Angela recommended Courmayeur.

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Although the ski season has ended, hikers and mountain climbers come to Courmayeur because it lies at the foothills of Mont Blanc, the largest mountain in Western Europe. Hiking and mountain climbing are not my thing, so I am here to relax in a beautiful setting.

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Cresta et Duc Hotel

Since this is the off season and the resorts are not full, I was pleasantly surprised when Stefano, the hotel desk clerk, upgraded me to a superior room. I could not believe the view I had from my room on the top floor with a balcony. This is relaxation at its best!

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The town is not that big but very charming with its alpine look. Courmayeur looks much different from any of the other Italian towns I have been in, with its chalets and French-named shops.

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It is obvious that there is a lot of French influence here. I started exploring the town, and although the streets are on small hills, I was surprised that I was so tired and winded after a short walk. Finally I realized that Courmayeur is at an elevation of 4000 feet, and I guess I am noticing the mountain altitude.

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It is very beautiful here, especially being able to look out at the snow-capped peaks of Mont Blanc. Actually it reminds me a lot of Vail and Aspen in Colorado, including the shops, priced for tourists.

This is one of the few towns I have stayed in where there is no train station. Stefano kindly printed out for me the best travel itinerary for when I leave Thursday to go to San Remo. It requires a bus and four trains. (Where is my car?) I am used to it by now, as these small villages off the beaten track are not that easy to reach.

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Rather than have dinner out I stopped at a small groceria and had a home-made panini and an apple, along with a few cookies I had bought earlier. Did I mention that I had gelato too?

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I love the idea of doing nothing. I had considered taking the cable car to Chamonix, but the one from Courmayeur is closed, and although there is one from the next village, having driven through Chamonix on the bus, I decided against it, opting to really relax.

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3 Responses

  1. I cannot imagine any hotel clerk giving anybody that big an upgrade even if the hotel was totally empty. It just goes against the grain of entrepreneurship. But then when was the last time I traveled anywhere but to a Star Trek Convention and the Romulans and the Klingons were always getting the rest of us in trouble. No upgrades for us!

    Your surroundings are just beautiful but I have made myself clear on how I tolerate elevations. The first time I got into trouble with breathing was back in 1963 (yes we had calendars back then) and I was in the Blue Ridge with friends. I guess I was around 16. I had been asleep and woke up with crushing chest pain. That was a hint! Stay in Florida, plenty of StarCons there. I was about half way up the 3,000 ft elevations. I did adjust but panted for the duration of the month in West Virginia. I have no idea how you, also from the land of the flattened landscape, are managing in 9,000 ft. Good on ya, matey!

  2. Wow! So beautiful! I really have been enjoying watching your adventures in Italy!

  3. The quaint scenery here is beautiful! You look stunning!!!
    Wishing you a grand rest of your time, Margie!

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