Marie-Louise Garratt

Market in the mountains - Scouts, Cluses.

We have finally arrived back in Chamonix! And damn does it feel good. Without a doubt Chamonix now feels like my second home. I have become so comfortable in this little mountain town and so familiar with everything, the fact that I’m in another country doesn’t even cross my mind.  Apart from not speaking any French, but Chamonix is home to the famous Mont Blanc and one of the best ski resorts in Europe and with anything famous promises tourists, so a demand of different languages is spoken, not to mention the huge English community that has understandably migrated here.  
The Chamonix valley is made up of a handful of villages, so moving around and staying within the valley should be an option this time. During the winter months the amount of snow filled up certain carparks that could have been camped in and cut off access to mountain roads, so it restricted us to parking mostly in the center and by Lac des Gaillands. This worked out fairly well for us anyway as it was a short walk into town and had accessible water nearby. Not to mention the breathtaking view you had every time you glanced out the window. 

Where we parked 90% of our time in Chamonix.

I have to say I’m going to miss being on the road for the next month and I already can’t wait to explore new places but saying that, Chamonix still has so much more to offer us. I admit we didn’t make the most of our time here as we became too caught up with work and skiing. We’re kicking ourselves now as we’ve limited time here, but I guess we could use this as a second chance to get up into the mountains and see what the views have to offer!

View of the Agui du midi from our first hike in Le tour.

When we first came here in November last year, we were introduced to a place outside of the valley called Cluses, where the most amazing flea market existed. Our friend dawn absolutely raved about this place and said whatever you wanted second hand was guaranteed to be here. I’ve never had much luck with buying second-hand things from charity shops and car boots, so I wasn’t overly excited. Granted a lot of second-hand places are fairly small which make finding treasures in other peoples ‘junk’ like finding a needle in a haystack but generally, my luck is non-exsitant. But this place was huge! Multiple buildings assorted into all different sections. On our first trip to scouts, I was completely blown away, not just by the number of things but also the quality. Each visit we made resulted in bags full of goodies; Unique ceramic mugs, perfect sized saucepans, Italian caftiere’s, thick woolen blankets, branded clothes, sturdy shoes and lastly a real win was our first pair of ski’s and boots which we managed to steal at just €30 each! This place soon eliminated my previous thoughts on finding great second-hand stuff, and for an incredible price too.

Our latest trip to scouts was another great one. Ash bought some roller blades, trousers and shorts along with a bigger cafetiere for the both of us, and I purchased a pleather jacket and a cosy blanket for Bolski. 

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