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One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

Budapest, Hungary
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One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

Hi, We will spend ca. one full day with my elderly parents (68/69 y.o) in Chamonix in early Sept. Would you give me some advice on possible programs with them?

They cannot walk too much, especially up and down the hill, but would like to go up to beautiful mountain view point(s) (especially with view on Mont Blanc) with cable car or tram, to have some coffe or lunch there, walk a little bit around, maybe watching some wild animals. My mom also likes to watch colourful flowers in the nature or on houses or in parks.

We do not want to go up to Aiguille de Midi, because I think my mom would be sick due to the fast elevation and lower oxigen level. My mom may have some vertigo, but could take some pills against it. We were together two years ago in Switzerland, where there was no such problem (we visited Schilthorn, Brienzer Rothorn, Gornergrat without problems, without pills), but AdM seems to be too high.

We will come from Geneve airport previous evening by direct airport transfer, sleep one night in Chamonix. We plan to spend the whole next day at Chamonix and go back to Geneve airport in the evening. I haven't yet booked the hotel in Chamonix.

Based on Tripadvisors' reviews, I'm thinking on the following two programs for that day:

1. Le Brevent Cable Car (maybe spending some time at Plan Praz before elevating to Le Brevent)

2. Tramway du Mont-Blanc

My questions:

a) Would these be ok for one day?

b) Is the Le Brevent Cable Car similarly dizzying like Aiguille de Midi? What about the oxigen level?

c) Do you have other alternative suggestion on the program? (e.g. Les Grands Montets or Flegere Cable Car seem to be interesting, too). Would a 3rd program be too much for one day? We could wake up early.

Thanks.

London
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1. Re: One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

I agree that the Midi might be a bit much.

I would suggest the Montenvers railway - the ascent is fairly gentle, the views are lovely (better than the TMB I think) and there are cafes etc at the top (the one right beside the station is rubbish but the other two are nice).

This might be quite enough for one day - in general, with my own older relatives, I've found that one of the lifts in a day is plenty. The town is very nice to stroll around and there is a tourist mini-train & open topped bus which they might like? But if you find they have good energy levels after lunch (either in town or at the Montenvers Hotel), Brevent could be nice - it has great views of Mont Blanc, which you don't really see from Montenvers.

Another possibility could be the TMB to Bellevue or Col de Voza. Lovely views and relaxing environment, plus the tram is much less vertiginous that the Brevent (though Brevent is much lower than the Midi so it shouldn't be too dizzying for them). There's not much at the top of the TMB (Nid d'Aigle) so it's not ideal for older people I think.

You do have a bit of a drive (20 mins?) to get to St Gervais to catch the TMB. So I would see how time goes.

Edited: 24 August 2013, 13:23
Budapest, Hungary
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2. Re: One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

Thanks Firebug. What order do you suggest for these programs?

a) Le Brevent Cable Car

b) Montenvers railway

c) (maybe) Open bus in the town

From Switzerland I have the experience the view from high viewing points may be the clearest early in the morning, so maybe we should try firstly Le Brevent. Or the same applies to Montenvers concerning the weather, so we should start with Montenvers to accustom my parents to higher levels, and then go to Le Brevent? What's your opinion?

How much time do you think I should plan for the 2 (or 3) programs? The ice cave at Montenvers seems to be interesting too, but probably we wouldn't have enough time. Thanks.

North Devon
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3. Re: One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

We went to Chamonix for one day as part of a short summer stay in Switzerland a few weeks ago. Chamonix was enchanting and appeared cheap in comparison to the Swiss side !!

I don' t know the name of the cable cars but we were advised to go up on the side of the valley opposite Mont Blanc and we were not disappointed - it gave great views of the main mountain opposite and the town below and opened up onto a magnificent panorama at the very top (second level). You would need to take a taxi to where the cable car starts as the hill at the bottom was itself very steep. We went on a very hot day and I think elderly parents would struggle. I hope you can get them up to the second level - they will never forget the views. Being the lower side I don't think oxygen will be a problem.

Budapest, Hungary
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4. Re: One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

Thank you for the infos, AnnonFoodFan. Do you think we would have time also for Montenvers railway on the same day? Or maybe even for the open bus tour in town? We wouldn't spend much time at any of the destination stops. Thanks.

reading
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5. Re: One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

Brevente and Montenvers are certainly possible in one day.

There is a free bus service , The Mulet, that stops at both places thus saving your parents from a long steep walk from the Brevente bottom station into the town.

London
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6. Re: One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

Order sounds good!

I wouldn't worry about the ice cave. It's a long steep walk and not all that great in all honesty. I agree with redzed - get the Mulet free bus from one to another. Taxis are difficult to find and really expensive.

Budapest, Hungary
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7. Re: One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

Thank you Firebug.

Budapest, Hungary
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8. Re: One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

Would you tell me which bus lines/stops serve the Le Brevent Cable Car and the Montenvers Train in Chamonix? Our hotel is in the center, at the SNCF train station. The receptionist in the hotel said there is no bus stop near the Le Brevent Cable Car (neither Le Mulet, nor other bus). I think AnnonFoodFan also said we might need a taxi. Our plan for tomorrow:

1. Le Brevent cable car from our hotel at the SNCF station.

2. Montenvers train from Le Brevent.

3. Back to hotel from Montenvers.

(We have to be back by 17:00 at the hotel, because our flight departs from Geneve at 20:00). We won't spend much time at neither places, maybe 1/2 - 1 hour. Thank you.

Pittsburgh, PA
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9. Re: One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

I clicked on this to see what you consider to be "elderly", thinking 80ies, not late 60ies!

reading
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10. Re: One day in Chamonix with elderly parents, early Sept

Only the Mulet

chamonix.com/…en.html