When I let Sam read these blog posts, he commented that they were “correct, but a bit clinical.” Admittedly, I did not describe this journey with much flourish or pomp. I have been sitting at my desk thinking about that, and searching for a response.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a grand adventure. It is full of breathtaking views and it is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Every day is filled with grand vistas, interesting people, and beautiful terrain. It would be hard to find something as immensely impressive.
It is a really difficult trip: both logistically and physically. I was not physically prepared for it, and because of that I did not enjoy it like countless others do. The first couple of days were damaging for my self-esteem and the recuperation time needed for was just not available.
It is not a casual walk between mountain towns, but difficult mountain hiking and one should be aware of that when they do it. Our 2-hour walks along the Delaware river in Philadelphia did not prepare me in the slightest.
This leads me to the 2 tips I have for anyone who wants to do this trip.
- Get yourself physically prepared for this trip. It is miserable if you do not.
- Do not go with the intention of treating it as a 110-mile obstacle that winners finish and losers don’t. I approached it like that, and missed more of the Alpine majesty than I care to admit.
The things I really liked were the wine and food. I enjoyed picnicking outside with friends and making people laugh at dinner. I enjoyed learning about the glacier in Chamonix and sweater shopping in Italy. In short, I reminded myself that I do not enjoy hiking. I enjoy learning and gluttony.
I am now asking myself this question. Did I not like my time on the Tour du Mont Blanc or did I not like myself on the Tour du Mont Blanc? Alas, it was probably the latter. It is an incredible adventure that I will remember forever.