Chamonix, France

Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
Trip End Sep 17, 2006

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Flag of France  ,
Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Today we woke up in beautiful Chamonix, France. The river outside our window was very relaxing and got a real good night's rest. The day started out clear and we could see the mountains surrounding this little town. There was a glacier on one of the mountains and it was the biggest glacier I have ever seen. We spent the morning shopping in Chamonix. We bought gifts for our family and friends. It was a relaxing morning. We found the French people to be very accommodating and friendly. We left Chamonix and started to the Alp d' Huez to see the famous pass that the Tour de France travels through. There were detours everywhere and time was getting away from us so we decided to turn and head to Kevin's cousin Anita's house in Lugano, Switzerland. We did pass through a city, I think it was Albertsville in France and there was a street called 19 May 1945...I believe that was the liberation of France. Our route took us through Torino, Italy where the winter Olympics were held this year. The drive was frustrating. There was construction for 60 Km (36 miles), it was the longest construction zone I have ever seen. The very worse part is that we paid about 60 EURO ($78 USA) in TOLLS! It cost 32 EURO to drive through a 13 Km tunnel going from France to Italy. Little did we know that this would only be the beginning of the tolls. You would figure that they pay enough taxes on their gas at 1.13 EURO per liter, which is roughly $5.20 per gallon. Makes paying $3.00 per gallon look like chicken feed. It cost us 82 Swiss Francs to fill the car up with gas, which is $66 US. For those of you who know Kevin, you know how much he loves toll roads and how polite he can be about them. Chicago is a piece of cake compared to this! The only enjoyment Kevin got was driving 140 KPM (84 MPH) in an 80 KPM zone but he was still being passed by many Italians. Turn signals must not come standard in European cars since they do not use them.
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