Chamonix is very pretty and Frenchly charming, sitting snugly in the valley bottom, surrounded by vertical mountain faces and savage, needle-like crags. Mont Blanc lurks massively in the distance. Clouds hide and clear, hide and clear so no view stays the same for more than 5 minutes.
The hotel’s very central – right beside the finish line for the epic Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc. It was the last double room in Chamonix because as usual we left it very late to book.
The Georges V it’s not. This is what 100 euros gets you in Chamonix in summer:Yes – it is 6 feet wide and those are bunk beds (bloke in the background is Neil’s climbing partner, Duncan). But if you turn round to look out of the window……Et voila – the redeeming feature.
With the Ultra Tour on, and seeing all the runners come in well into the night, I’ve felt a bit inspired about getting started doing some running again – even went as far as googling the race. After thinking about it for 5 minutes though, what appeals is the chariots of fire moment – the opportunity to run up an avenue of people applauding you for doing something heroic. I’d quite like that. It’s the having to do something heroic that’s the difficult bit.
And so to the other room with a view.
With thousands of people milling around the town all weekend, here is the French modern equivalent of a pissoir. It’s a large blue bucket with some straw in the bottom – or so Neil says – I wouldn’t go anywhere near it. I like the piece of plastic on the top for a roof – someone’s clearly put some thought into it. I should point out that Neil isn’t usually photographed hanging around outside mens’s toilets.
Or at least, not to my knowledge.