Tour du Mont Blanc – The Refuge Dining Room

Posted on July 31, 2013. Filed under: France, Italy, Switzerland, Tour du Mont Blanc, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Travel - TMB Refuge Dining Rooms

An interesting dynamic can happen in the refuge dining rooms along the Tour du Mont Blanc.  Here we are in the Refuge Bonhomme after dinner.  You can see the terra cotta pichet of wine on the table readying everyone for a great chat!  Within a short time we had about 6 people all from different countries exploring world views well into the night.  It was like an impromptu united nations meeting!  There were some uncomfortable pointed questions at us as Americans, but we found the whole experience very interesting.  Keeping a respectful approach while explaining when we disagreed worked to allow conversation to flow and everyone ended with a clap on the back, a handshake and big smiles.  If this happens to you take the opportunity to learn about other peoples’ views, just remember to be pleasant. Just think about how incredible the Tour du Mont Blanc is that it brings people from all over the world together for one purpose, if just for a short time.

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Rifugio Bonatti on the Tour du Mont Blanc

Posted on May 8, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health, Italy, Tour du Mont Blanc, Travel | Tags: , , , , , |

Travel - TMB Bonatti 1           Travel - TMB Bonatti 2

The Rifugio Bonatti in the Italian section of the Tour du Mont Blanc is a really nice place to stay.  The mountain backdrop is spectacular and for once you have a little time to just look without moving if you want!  There is an outdoor patio, perfect for some wine and cheese after your shower.  We were nervous all day because we didn’t have a reservation.  Every time we called they told us not to come, that they would have to send us away if we showed up.  Our friends, though, had a private room reserved and they were convinced they could talk them into letting us sleep on the floor if need be.  And voilà!  When we trudged in a little after them, they came out to greet us with news that the people in charge were bringing some mattresses in.  What a relief!

Travel - TMB Bonatti 5          Travel - TMB Bonatti 4

Dinner is fairly gourmet in its quality and the dining room comes alive with everyone buzzing about the day’s hike.

Travel - TMB Bonatti 3Sunset on the mountains is spectacular.  I had to leave the dining room a few times to look and take pictures.  Morning was even more breathtaking as the mountains started out misty orange and changed moment by moment.  We took our coffee out on the patio to enjoy the show!

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Cows of the Tour du Mont Blanc

Posted on March 14, 2013. Filed under: France, Italy, Switzerland, Tour du Mont Blanc, Travel | Tags: , , , , , |

Travel - TMB - Cows 3

When you are hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc, you will encounter lots of cows!  Most of the time they have bells on and each cow has her own tone.  This is how the cows find each other!  The bigger the cows grow the bigger the bell they get.  Calves had petite little bells while the huge ones had enormous hunks of metal on thick leather collars under their massive heads.  I now understand the line from the Sound of Music, “The hills are alive with the sound of music!”  These bells are not clangy, but rather very melodious and pleasing to the ear.

Travel - TMB - Cows 1 Travel - TMB - Cows 5 Travel - TMB - Cows 6They are completely used to the hikers and don’t pay much attention to us.  The big black ones in the first picture above decided they liked the only flat spot around:  the trail!  We had to go precariously below them to get around.  They do have horns and we didn’t want to annoy them so we just found a way around.

Travel - TMB - Cows 4 Travel - TMB - Cows 2

At Rifugio Bonatti we were sitting outside after our showers and before dinner relaxing when 2 cowherds and their entire herd moved through.  The three working herd dogs were fascinating to watch.  One of the cows got too close to us and the youngest dog who took his job very seriously came storming over and told her off to get her to move back.  You can see the black dog in the very first picture.  Great entertainment!

Please note that all images on this blog are exclusive property of Mary McCluskey.  If you would like to use one I will probably say yes, please just ask!

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