Intending to take the bus, we just missed it because we were standing on the wrong side of the road! However we quickly hitched a lift into Chamonix which is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and located at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest peak of the Alps. It was also the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924.
We had a quick look around the town and had intended to visit the Alpine museum but it was closed until 2pm…. So after going to a smart restaurant called Josephine where one item on the menu was a staggering 500€! we thought coffee and croissants @12€’s were very reasonably priced
With our change of plans, we needed to get going to complete the long drive south to Mongenèvre and beat the expected big dump of snow on Tuesday night. Looking at the route the obvious choice was the 8 mile long Frejus Tunnel.
The school boy error was not to check the price! Well it did save a long alternative journey… and it meant we’d make it before the forecasted snow arrived and tunnel construction took from 1974 to 1980 (that’s a lot of digging) and it cost €700 million at 2005 prices and it’s the tenth longest road tunnel in the world. So in retrospect the 65€ was…. still BL**DY expensive!
The tunnel emerges at the Italian Ski resort of Bardoncchia from there it was a relatively easy drive via Claviere, to the massive aire at Mongenèvre which can hold up to 220 motorhomes. Fortunately for us there plenty free spaces with electric hook up and we ended up parking next to a group of five British motorhome ski seasonaires. Once set up Dave had a well-earned rest whilst Lesley went out to explore the town and stock up on provisions.