Cabin fever in Chamonix
What do when the weather turns foul
With rain lashing against the windows, the wind howling and most of the lifts closed, our thoughts have turned to what to do in Chamonix when the weather is like this. Here are our top five recommendations.
First off, and top of Archie’s list, is bowling. Chamonix’s 8-lane bowling centre is at 196 Avenue du Courmayeur in Chamonix-Sud, and is open every day from 5pm to 2am, or from 2pm in case of bad weather.. When your arms are tired from the bowling, there’s also billiards and arcade games.
If you’re really feeling the need for some outdoor activities, one option is cross-country skiing. Starting at Route du Bouchet on the edge of town, there are three routes of varying length. An adult day ticket costs €10 and also permits access to the swimming pool. It’s harder than it looks. You can hire equipment at the Intersport across the road, or at Sanglard a bit further back into town.
Chamonix’s pool, our third recommendation, is open every day, is 25m long, and, most importantly has a superb slide for which one is never too old. As often the case with many French swimming pools, speedo-style swimming trunks (rather than shorts) are required…
If that’s enough sport for one day, the Chamonix Alpine Museum is well worth a visit. Situated in the centre of town in the Chamonix Palace, there are fascinating exhibits depicting the early development of the Chamonix valley, and the history of mountaineering and winter sports. There is also a collection of Alpine prints ranging from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. A standard adult ticket costs €5.90.
Finally, have a decent lunch. There are loads of good places, and fun places to try, such as the panoramic restaurant at Montenvers. Our personal favourite at the moment is La Yaute Café next to the Zag store just before Argentière: a fantastic mix of tex-mex, tapas and sushi. Plus there’s a pool table.
We were going to add a 6th suggestion to this list, with thanks to Father Christmas: flying our new power kite. Strong gusty winds, lashing rain and novice kiters are a dangerous combination, so we're happy to be back safely in the cabin...