Reach Out And Touch The Sky
France's Chamonix Valley is one of the most scenic places on the European continent. A narrow river valley which houses everything from rock climbing centers to pulsing bars and pubs, on both sides of the valley the peaks of the French Alps explode thousands of feet into the sky.
While there are numerous ways to experience the grandeur of the Alps from Chamonix--riding the ski lift at Les Grands-Montets, mountain biking along the steep ridges, or paragliding off of the many peaks--the most accessible for the common layperson is to ride the Aiguille du Midi cable car, a hair-raising ascent which gains 9,200 vertical ft. over the course of 20 minutes. From the summit perch it's possible to take in a 360-degree view beneath the base of Mont Blanc, and from this frigid vantage point set nearly at the top of Europe, it's almost possible to reach straight out and touch the sky.