Reggio Emilia to Chaminox Mont Blanc, France. 2015

Travelled: 166 kilometres from Florence to Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Visited: Florence
Stayed: Community Sosta, free, usual services. N44.70984, E10.62387

 

Having left Florence in the late afternoon we have about three hours of daylight, we make our way to the autostrada heading toward Bologna, then continue north toward Milan on the A1. The autostrada is four lanes each way and full of traffic heading in both directions, all moving very quickly. Where are all these people going late on a Sunday afternoon, we can only wonder. The sun has gone, the sky has a beautiful red hue when we turn off the autostrada, pay our toll and drive into Reggio Emilia and a free sosta in a corner of a large municipal carpark behind the town hall.

 

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Doesn’t sound very nice with that description but it’s a beautiful town, clean and tidy, no graffiti with lovely trees and gardens. Our sosta is just as nice. Rows of plane trees and grass dividers, it’s as good as it gets for free. Reggio Emilia is of course famous for it hard cheese as is Palma only 50 kilometres further north. Is it only coincidental they are both so close to Bologna famous for it meat sauces ?

 

Travelled: 399 kilometres from Reggio Emilia, Italy to Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France
Visited: Chamonix Mont-Blanc
Stayed: Unofficial parking spot for campers, no services but handy to the village. N45.92831, E6.87673

 

Get Directions

 

Up early, it’s another day of driving on the tollways. We roll from the A1 to the A5 without paying a toll then again to the A6, nearing the frontier we eventually pay โ‚ฌ34 for our 300 kilometres on the autostradas. Our goal for today is Chaminox Mont-Blanc but first the tunnels of the French Alps there are several about 3 klm in length before the famous Mont-Blanc tunnel at 11.5 klm. The Mont-Blanc tunnel comes with a toll fee of โ‚ฌ58 ! Our total cost for the autostrada and tunnel today is โ‚ฌ102, with fuel almost โ‚ฌ200. Not happy Pam.

 

Driving the Valley de' Aosta and it dramatic scenery.
Driving the Valley de’ Aosta and it dramatic scenery.

 

Get Directions

 

 

Looks a bit chillier than Greece.
Looks a bit chillier than Greece.

 

Longest tunnel we have driven on, most firefighter are familiar with this tunnel and it's tragic story.
Longest tunnel we have driven on, most firefighters are familiar with this tunnel and it’s tragic story.

 

We exit the tunnel to find the weather cold and wet, the fog or cloud call for a reduction in speed and we make our way more carefully than many other motorists. We drive into Chamonix and find a parking spot after a long drive about. Seemingly every possible spot requires payment, we find a couple of other motorhomes and park alongside. Chamonix Mont-Blanc is a ski village in winter but remains a popular tourist destination in summer for those transiting the tunnel and the gondola to Midi de Aiguille at 3,000 metres. This was the reason for our trip via Mont Blanc. We find the tourist information and get the bad news the gondola is closed due to the poor weather. The forcast is not good for tomorrow either, but we decide to stay the night and hope for an improvement.

 

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Note the glazier extends almost into the village.

 

Pam enjoys wearing some of those cloths that have been hiding in the bottom of the Hymer for 10 weeks.
Pam enjoys wearing some of those cloths that have been hiding in the bottom of the Hymer for 10 weeks.

 

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The next morning seems little better and we return to the information centre to find the gondola is running but visibility on top of the mountain is still poor. The gondola ride is โ‚ฌ57 return pp, so it will have to wait for next time. So we use some free wifi and do a little shopping before packing up the Hymer and hitting the road again.

 

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Michael and Pam

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