[TravelBlog] Post Nine: Mer de Glace

For our last day in the Alps we board a cog railway up the south wall of the Mont Blanc Valley. The 20 minute ride brings us from the valley floor up to the base of the Mer de Glace glacier at 6100 feet. The giant “sea of ice” is 220 feet deep and over 4 miles long, snaking between towering jagged peaks. After a nerve racking gondola ride down the steep side of the gorge, we begin the 430 step clime down to the surface.

[TravelBlog] Post Six: Les Alpes

We bid farewell to the sparkling Lake Como this morning, after a last minute coffee and some sugar cookies for the road. Our route took us south toward Milan, then northwest toward the mountains. We decided to cross the Alps via the Simplon Pass, a crossing in use since the Stone Age, but made famous during the reign of Napoleon

[TravelBlog] Post Four: En Suisse

Started the morning in the tiny town grocery — speck, bread, sugar cookies, croissants, and a wedge of fresh, creamy, decadent talleggio, almost unrecognizable next to the States’ Whole Foods variety. A quick stop at a café in Tremezzo, then off on the winding road to Lugano. A roadside goat greets us as we pass into Switzerland.

[TravelBlog] Post Two: In Montagna

Morning espressos in the bar up the street. A quick stop in the market for bread, cheese, and prosciutto, and we’re off in our car up the coast. After a tricky u-turn (for more cheese) and several near misses on the tiny streets, we pass through Tremezzo and begin our climb. Endless switchbacks and ever-narrowing roads lead us high into the hills above the lake, as each turn provides improved views and more dramatic vertigo.

[TravelBlog] Post One: Andiamo!

Landed this morning in Milan; picked up our rented Renault, and headed north. Enormous, jagged white alpine peaks rise without warning, like the Rockies from the western planes. After some chocolate, espresso, and a hard-won lesson in the phrase di andare (“to go”), we pass from outskirts of Milan into lush green mountains.