Chamonix Travel Guide
Not that we are like, totally on top of our lives or anything--we do that procrastinating thing and don't always love our in-laws--but a ski vacation is something we want to enjoy. Psycho-babble on the ski lift and analysis of what our ski style says about our life decisions might just spoil that a bit.
But the UK Times journo who took up the challenge of life coaching-plus-skiing reckoned he got a lot out of it. Putting your body on the edge on difficult slopes apparently helps you get your life in perspective too. Just don't plan on seeing us along for the ride.
We really like skiing and boarding. But that doesn't mean we want to spend our whole vacation just getting to the mountain. Our Ski Areas Near Airports Map will help you maximize your time on the slopes.
Just one hour and a quick border crossing from the Geneva Airport, Mont Blanc in the French Alps is the highest mountain in western Europe. It's about a two-day hike to the summit--where the doctor and the monster reunited in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein--but don't worry, you won't have to brave the undead to ski there: the ski resort only goes up a few thousand feet, still considered the foot of the mountain.
The town below it, Chamonix, has every bit of French village character you'd expect in the Alps. And since every family has one member who avoids athletic activity, he or she can take the Tramway Du Mount Blanc cable train up the cliffs of the mountain to a mid-point lodge, or ride Aiguille du Midi cable car that suspends passengers over the mountain range with Italy, Switzerland and France all in view.
Let the commoners have Super Bowl XLI! Burlesque star Dita Von Teese joined model Naomi Campbell, actor Christopher Lee and actress Juliette Binoche at the Montblanc "Night Of The Stars," a release party for the German pen maker's new gold-and-diamond collection held in Chamonix, France.
Guests watched European models stomp the catwalk in an ice palace built specially for the occasion at the foot of Western Europe's tallest mountain, and Campbell showed off a $4 million ensemble featuring 43-faceted diamonds that is part of the collection. (We assume the museum part.) We don't know which make of pen made it into the gift bags, although we're hoping one lucky guest took home Montblanc spokesman Nicolas Cage.
For your own party worth writing home about, you can reach Chamonix through Geneva, Switzerland, an hour's drive away (both Continental Airlines and Swiss have nonstop flights from New York). Or make it a grand European tour and stop over in Munich, Frankfurt or Copenhagen with United Airlines' partners Lufthansa and Scandinavian Air. Till you do, check out the party pictures here.
· Katherine and Naomi Size Up Mont Blanc Jewels [Hello!]
· How to Make Like Dita Von Teese, Minus the Part Where You Divorce Marilyn Manson [Jaunted]
Think that Chamonix is a fancy French ski-town? Or, as the New York Times would have it, a hard-edged winter sports capital? Not completely. Even classy ski towns in Europe can't be classy all the time. Take a look at on one of Chamonix's bars in the heat of post-death sport revelery.
At least they Macarena isn't involved.