The Mont Blanc Esprit de Corps – Travel blog by Rick Steves

Tour du Mont Blanc was a completely different piece of European culture for me. meeting at a remote farm that had been turned into a thriving cafe serving great meals… flowers and cows (with vintage bells) picturesquely scattered throughout… and the enthusiasm of the corps. everyone is like family.

Our trail passed through three countries: France, Italy and Switzerland before returning to our starting point in France. This cow is completely Swiss.
One of the joys of TMB is coming across an old farmhouse on a mountainside (or pasture) that these days is a thriving little restaurant for hungry and thirsty tourists. The prices are reasonable, the service is friendly, the food is excellent, and the atmosphere is a joy.

Since almost everyone is walking in the same direction (clockwise), you make friends with fellow hikers. It seemed like half the people on the trail were from the US and I met a lot of Seattleites.

It was easy to pass long stretches of the hike, immersed in deep conversation with the people we met along the way.
I enjoyed meeting this fan of my books and TV shows who was celebrating her 60th birthday by hiking the TMB with her son.

And for the light of the campaign, the meals were very simple. just a sandwich from the hotel, maybe a carrot, a piece of fruit and water. But on reaching the summit in the afternoon, lunch was a marmot feast. (Speaking of marmots, we didn’t see any wildlife other than a few mice squished under hiking boots on the trail.)

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