first day in Chamonix and Grand Balcon Nord Hike

With Br's arrival in Chamonix, the vacation is in full swing and it's AWESOME! 
paraglider with brevent on the bg. View from Chamonix
I had half a day to spare before he got here, so i went to city center and walked around. The city center is small but vibrant. It has a nice relaxed but fun vibe. You can see a lot of Paraglider from the top of Brevent cable car. Spot how many glider up there
river along chamonix city center

We got some sushi for dinner. I know.. yes. sushi in france. but if you know Br, you know how much he loves sushi .. It wasn't bad actually.

br at Elevation 1904
The next day we slept in , went back to city center and had some breakfast at elevation 1904. Served by a french afro dude wearing swim trunk and mont blanc in the background. How can you complain?
caillet on the montervers track 
Around 1pm we started hiking up the Grand Balcon Nord, The track started from chamonix city center, linking between the top of Montervers - Mer de glace cable car and Plan de L'Aiugille.
grand Montervers and les dru 
Half way up , we saw this cabin called Caillet. The couple who run it lives there in good weather and come down to town in cold weather. Million dollar view. They offered us some organic juices ( who their friend made it ) that we gladly accepted on that HOT day ( i've been spoiled with nz's weather ) .
br and les dru
Continuing up , the forest opened up and the view was epic. Les Dru.. Mer de Glace ..Aiguille des Grand Charmoz .. and really if you don't feel like walking, you can always take the cable car up . But why wouldn't you walk ? It's only 4000 feet up :P It took us about 2 hrs i think ( this is br's speed while i was puffin and huffin trying to follow him ) 
Les Drus and Dru's cairn
From the top of Montervers cable car, we hiked up to Signal forbes before traversing toward Plan de L'Aiugille , This is the best part of the trail. Br claimed it as the best day hike up to this date. I will give it couple more days before it gets topped up by other trail in the area.
The hike toward Plan de L'Aiugille was empty, we only came across 2 american dudes. It was pleasant, and occasional snow field added to the fun. Highly recommended if you haven't convinced by this point.
By 7 pm , we got back down. Total 4k ft up and 4k ft down in 6 hours. It was a good first day hike in Chamonix.

me at the grand balcon nord trail, photo by Br
Back at the apartment, both of us was glued to our laptop, checking photos from today and started editing until hunger reminded us to go out and grab food before everything close. Luckily restaurant open pretty late here. La tablee is the choice of the night. For 3 course menus at a whooping 29 euros, and got Br to try snail for the first time, I consider this dinner as a winner.
breakfast at elevation 1904
dinner at le tablee, br's first time trying snail

Tomorrow forecast is cloudy and raining.. So i think we will be taking it easy and see what we can do .


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