Once in Chamonix was a tiny, lost in the Alpine mountains, unknown village. Or, as they say here, the commune.
But that all changed in 1741, when I arrived here two young British clubbers aristocrat. God knows that it is brought into the middle of nowhere these two young people, but they turned the history of Chamonix. The fact that today the Chamonix one of the centers of active tourism in the Alps, the road and the popular ski resort filled with hotels and expensive cars, a place where in fact there was mountain climbing - the merit of the very Vindhema William and Richard Pocock.
We arrived, were on the glacier, which I told yesterday, came back and told everyone about what they saw.
And the rich European tourists rushed to witness the beauty of the Alps ...
Neither give nor take, bloggers XVIII century made gorgeous promo nobody knows the region.
In the central square of Chamonix set green with copper times the monument to two pioneers, told Europe about Chamonix.
I do not know any of them, William and Richard who, apparently convinced the second one - "Dude, I'm telling you, this is the Mont Blanc! See picture on Wikipedia! »
In general, I must say that everywhere in Chamonix mentioned in one way or another about the history of mountaineering in these places.
On the streets there are boxes and there, there are posters, gift shop hundreds of different vintage postcards with pictures and short text sketches.
But here really makes the story of mountaineering.
At first, the locals were conductors in the mountains in thin streams coming wealthy Europeans.
Then in 1770 came the first inn, which initiated the hospitality boom. And then everything went like a snowball. There were conditions for rich tourists and wealthy tourists were pulled all the larger streams.
The second turning point was the 1786, when it was conquered Mont Blanc.
All believe that the local peaks are not inaccessible, as it seemed before. Writers and journalists began to describe the mountains, not as menacing, full of terrible dangers of the place, and as a great place with marvelous view. And now here we flocked not only desperate daredevils and adventurers, but also quite respectable tourists-mattress. In 1816 there was built the first luxury hotel,
setting a new trend in the hotel business, and at the beginning of the XX century in the valley appeared three magnificent palace-hotel, which would have done honor to any fashionable resort at the time
One of the most famous paintings, which can be seen on millions of postcards and magnets. Women conquer Mont Blanc.
The first who did it, was Maria Paradis in 1808.
It is characteristic that in this famous climber image displayed in the skirt and hat.
The theme of mountaineering is steeped in everything. Images in the different forms can be seen and including on the walls.
Sometimes it seems that surely somewhere there is a bridge, entirely lined with Alpenstocks.
Another example - the house painted scenes from the life of climbers.
By the way, this end wall is completely deaf. Everything you see on it - 3D-image.
Hard to believe, but it's drawing on the wall
Only the windows of real
Here they are, rich tourists XVIII-XIX centuries
This tourists XXI century. A completely different ammunition. A completely different kind.
The central area of Chamonix. Today the city's population of nearly 10 thousand people. And at least as much, and even more live here as tourists. During the peak season the number grows significantly.
In mid-June, there is almost a dead season. The bulk of the lifts do not work, it does not work most of the alpine shelters.
But by the end of the summer Chamonix comes alive on summer hibernation
Almost all the major houses here - the hotel. Sometimes they have a very unusual kind. As an example, this narrow hotel
Sometimes, in the narrow streets you can find absolutely unexpected things. For example, here such an unusual urban transport. They are not only tourists but also locals
Another surprise may lie in wait for you on Arv rivulet flowing through Chamonix.
These waters rush at high speed down and filled with melt water flowing down from the Alps.
What's the surprise?
Well, for example, when from under the bridge, where you stand, taking a picture, there are several carriers rubber boats with rafters
Their twirls in different directions, they are carried directly under the windows of houses and restaurants
But the most important thing in Chamonix - this species. The mountains are visible from virtually every window, from every street, from every nook
By the way, the very first Winter Olympic Games in history is held in Chamonix - in 1924.
Today Chamonix is a popular and relatively affordable for skiers and snowboard resort. Chamonix Valley, stretching for 16 km, includes several regions of skiing: Grand Montets, Le Tour, Les Houches, Brevin, Flegère, as well as the famous White valley - off-piste descent length of about 20 km from the summit of the Aiguille du Midi (3843 m).
In the town the huge number of different shops with all the necessary equipment for extreme mountaineering and for all possible winter sports.
There is also a huge number of cafes and restaurants, but ...
If you go on a spree, or simply did not notice the passage of time, 22 hours after you eat is unlikely.
Everything, absolutely everything is closed in Chamonix at 10 pm. When we came across this on the first night, I rushed to look for a supermarket, where to buy food and wine, but also ... and shops are closed at this time.
City like sticks and almost all go to bed, and only opens the eyes of the mafia ...
Railroad from Chamonix and Mont Blanc
And here is just a sea of flowers. They are everywhere - on the paths, flower beds, sidewalks, balconies and windows
Windows, balconies and flowers
Chimney and alpine fir
A street in Chamonix
And finally ... the Mont Blanc, muddy little river Arve and again flowers ...