Tuesday, February 9, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn
Despite the weather forecast telling us that there was a one-hundred percent chance of snow (in addition to the two feet currently on the ground) my friends and I took a chance and ventured to Chamonix, a small town in the French Alps. Chamonix might not be the most easily accessible place, but is definitely a beautiful one. We transferred trains eight times to get to our final destination; each train with views prettier than the next, with our final train feeling more like a ski lift than a train. We were rewarded for our train hopping with breathtaking panoramic views of ice capped peaks and dreamy small villages blanketed in several feet of snow.
Once we were off the train, we quickly learned why shoveling sidewalks is commonplace in the United States after it snows. The walkways were iced over and it was pretty impossible to avoid slipping. So, we slipped, skidded, slid – all of the verbs that begin with “s” – our way around the downtown area. We grabbed some groceries from the local supermarket (in particular, ingredients for pasta, the hungry college student’s best friend and one of my best dishes) and ordered some sugar and Nutella crêpes from a makeshift crêpe stand on the side of the road. With the crepes warming our hands, we headed to our home for the night.
After eating an extremely hearty breakfast of leftover bread, we set off to go for a hike. I know you may be thinking,“Hiking… In winter? With three feet of snow on the ground?” Those thoughts were the very ones running through my head at the beginning of our very steep, uphill hike. We felt mildly insane, as the only sign that someone or something else had been on the trail recently were some tracks left by a deer. At first, we were worried about getting our feet wet, but we quickly realized with snow up to our knees, our feet would inevitably be soaked through. By the end of the hike we had fully embraced the experience and just had fun plowing through the snow. The views were gorgeous, and we felt very fortunate that there was a break in the snowfall that let us see the mountains and take some photos.
The second and final leg of our trip took us to the city of Lyon, France. We met up with a few other Georgia Tech-Lorraine students and spent the day exploring the city. Our first stop was at a park that had an outdoor zoo. It was quite jarring to be taking a walk in the park and then run into a zebra enclosure a second later, but after a bit of a laugh I found the experience quite enjoyable. The city of Lyon had lots of other things to offer, and we tried to take as much advantage of this as we could. We stopped at a delicious bakery where we ordered its famous meringue and at the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière, which required a very steep climb up many staircases to reach. Even as I huffed and puffed when we reached the top of the stairs, I couldn’t help but gape at the panoramic view of Lyon and its iconic red rooftops.