We had opportunity to travel to French Alps for work a week ago. The trip took 3 nights, from Thursday to Sunday and we were hosted by company called Somfy who have their production plant, test lab and logistics in the town of Cluses. We spent 2 whole days at Somfy facilities, but half of Saturday and kinda half of Sunday was free time. Of course we wanted to make the most out of our rare time on the Alps. Our hotel was in Chamonix some 45 minutes drive from Cluses. I just made a google search for “photography chamonix” and found myself emailing with a very friendly and helpful lady, Teresa Kaufman. She arranges photowalks in the near vicinity of Chamonix. At first she asked us what kind of walks we prefer and about the photography I do, and pretty soon she came into conclusion that a walk in the beautiful village of Chamonix wasnt quite what we were searching for.
Our goal was to get a bit away from the beaten track, but thought that it would be a problem because we didn’t have a rental car. Teresa said No problem – she’ll pick us up at the hotel and after the walk drop us back. This is what I call customer service. She even popped in the hotel lobby just to meet and greet us on Thursday evening before our group dinner. The weather forecasts were tricky and changing all the time ‘cos of the Foehn wind for the weekend, so we decided to that we would take either Saturday afternoon, or Sunday early morning for our walk.
Teresa kept us perfectly up to date about the weather during Friday, and after all we fixed Saturday afternoon, when it was told to be partly sunny. She arrived to the minute and off we drove. She had chosen a walk in the end of valley, which appeared to be getting more sun than village of Chamonix. The road led us higher up to the mountain, parked the car and started to climb higher. We reached to snow level in the forests, walked over beautiful paths and meadows, and heard interesting stories about the chalets and farms not to mention about fauna and flora living up there. Sceneries were breathtaking and lucky for us we got both sunny and part cloudy moments during the walk to have a bit different photos of the mountains.
The extra fun part was after the walk, when were driving back to Chamonix, she asked, whether we’d like to meet a local Pyrenean mountain dog!? We had told her that our Giusto is that breed, so we drove to a friend of hers to who has Great pyrenees. It was fun to meet the owner and her 2 little girls and the Pyr in the backyard. Who behaved just like a Pyr should: being a bit suspicious at first, came to sniff us, approved, and run jolly behind the house.
We arrived back in Chamonix jsut before dark, and went to have a “walk de-briefing” and a glass of wine in a very cosy hotel, Auberge du Bois Prin . We had nice chat by the fireplace. Teresa also knew our love for good food, so she had reserved a table for us on Sunday lunch in restaurant Le Matafan, before our transfer to the Geneva airport. The meal was absolutely fantastic, the service outstanding and our bellies full when we headed back to our hotel to join the rest of the group. Thank you Teresa for your hospitality, and your great efforts helping and guiding us. We didnt feel ourselves as customers, but as your friends. Merci Madame!