the palaces of nature - the alps

by - Monday, September 05, 2016

The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, stretching approximately 1,200km across 8 different Alpine countries : Austria, France, Germany, Italy,  Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia and Switzerland. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps, thus being able to see it from the mountains we climbed was incredible. 


Scouts holidays are always the supreme event of summer. Consisting of hikes and various activities, boring moments never occur. The plan for this holiday was to camp next to Lake Geneva for a couple of days, then move to another campsite in Chatel to hike, visit a refuge and take part in Fantasique (zip wiring). 


Lake Geneva is a crescent shaped lake between Switzerland and France and overlooked by the Alps. Geneva the swiss city, at its southern tip, is a diplomatic hub with luxury shops and cobbled streets. On the southern French side, is a spa town resort of Evian-les-Bains. The campsite was situated in Evian-les-Bains, which allowed us direct access to the shores of Lake Geneva. The clear water of the lake was so captivating and with every aspect being so clean and beautiful, it did not seem real. 








Thonon-les-Bains was the next place we visited, located 20 minutes away from Evian-les-Bains. With a beach club and a yacht port, the town oozed class whilst looking picturesque from every angle. Taking an un-aesthetically pleasing photograph would simply be impossible.







From here, we moved to Abondance, then onto Chatel. The drive made you feel as though you were being filmed, as part of an advert for a supercar. As windy and as stressful as the roads were, it will definitely go down as one of the best car rides that I have experienced.


The first mountain which the group climbed was 'La Muraz'. La Muraz is a commune in the Haute -Savoie department in the Rhone Alps region in south eastern France. With a fear of heights, the climb to the peak was quite challenging but completely worth it. As a group we climbed down to Torgon, where we utilised the end of summer season chair lift, to take an array of photographs which showed off the vivid view. La Chapelle D'Abondance was the next stop, thus we had to take advantage of the cafe with such an immense view. 



















As La Chapelle D'Abondance is so beautiful, we found a small refuge chalet which allowed hikers to stay overnight. Being 1900ft altitude, the scenery was flawless and being able to see mountains for miles disintegrated every piece of stress.  The next morning some woke to see the sun rise and it is amazing how long it takes the sun to appear but how quick it takes for it to rise. 
















The days after this were spent relaxing in the campsite, enjoying the pool and giving needed TLC to sore blistered feet. The zip wire was one of the last activities we did and was the best way to appreciate the spell binding view of the Alps. Flying (literally) across Chatel was a perfect end to the week. If an opportunity arises to visit the Alps, take it, as I can assure there is no where as quintessential.










Once again the Scout holiday will be the most enjoyable week of the whole year, going out and challenging yourself really shows that getting up and just doing things is the way life should be lived. I am so grateful to have had this holiday and there is not a better group of people who I could have shared this experience with. x


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