Stunning Chamonix

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (or just Chamonix, or “Cham” according to the cool kids) is a stunning town nestled in the French Alps, very close to the Swiss border. It’s the launch pad for some of the most exciting skiing in the region, and a fun town to spend a serene, cosy weekend – which is exactly what I did two weekends ago.

It’s also one of the most picturesque places I have ever been to, so I cursed myself for nothing taking my camera with me. Trusted iPhone saved the day and here are some of my favourite shots from the beautiful Chamonix. Enjoy!

 

11 countries in 2011

At some point during the year, probably when I realized that the travel gods were on my side, I decided that I was going to attempt to visit 11 countries in 2011.

And lo and behold, I did.

I started my travels this year with a much needed getaway to culturally rich and geographically diverse Nicaragua. That was followed by the legendary banana pancake trail and a Europe camping trip. It was very poetic that the 11th country I visited was in Latin America as well, the beautiful Panama.

If I were to talk about all of those individual trips, this would be an excruciatingly long blog post that no one will read (because, let’s admit it, we don’t like long blog posts). Instead, here is a little photo montage of my most amazing year for travel ever.

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The Trümmelbach Falls

One of the Lauterbrunnen falls

In Switzerland, we camped in a small town at the base of the Jungfrau mountain called Lauterbrunnen, also known as the valley of 72 waterfalls. You can walk the entire length of this town in roughly 20 minutes (and that includes the uphill trek through ‘downtown’). But Lauterbrunnen has everything you ask of a small Swiss town: photogenic scenery everywhere you look; a magnificent waterfall across from the campsite; boutique stores that sell authentic Swiss army knives and cow bells; and a cozy pub (the slogan of the Lauterbrunnen pub is “The best pub in town… because it’s the only one!“)

This valley is also home to many adventure sports and outdoor activities. There is always one brave soul paragliding in the vicinity, many rock climbers, and some rafters who are willing to battle to the freezing water tickling down from the Alps. Lauterbrunnen also serves as the base for a day trip up to the Jungfrau mountain where you can see snow 365 days a year. Being Canadian, now that’s not something that particularly excites me. What does excite me is that a small hike in any direction will lead you to an exciting waterfall. My Aussie mate, Chris and I decided to make our way to Trummelbach underground falls. Continue reading

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