Thursday, 18 August 2016

A day trip to Aosta, the sunny side of Mont Blanc

Today seems a good day to take a bus to Aosta. It's sunny and our legs need a rest from the hike to Le Lac Blanc. We pile into a coach to travel through the Mont Blanc tunnel (built between 1957 and 1965) to Courmayeur. Entering the tunnel is strictly regulated and we wait our turn to enter.

Emerging into bright sunshine on the Italian side, I'm disappointed no one wants to check or stamp our passports. I argue with the cleaner in the toilets who refuses to let me in! Gesticulating and talking loudly in English helps and calm is restored.
We buy another ticket to Aosta and hop on the second bus. The road passes interesting villages with extraordinary slate tiled roofs - it is a regional tradition.

We reach Aosta and wander around - it is remarkable for its Roman ruins

The Cathedral beckons after lunch in a bar - delicious cheese and ham baguettes, followed closely by a hazelnut icecream. Australia doesn't know how to make good icecream I've decided.

We return back the same way. This time I'm watching the mountain slopes and notice the steep terraces - some for grape vines but some have fallen into disrepair. I'm not surprised - it really is very steep.

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