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The French town of Chamonix is a famed mountaineering and skiing destination. It is also the last stop for skiers descending one of France's best ski runs. The Vallée Blanche is a 12-mile off-piste course that's as memorable for its breathtaking views as it is for the day-long descent.
Vallée Blanche is French for white valley, and its an apt name for a region that offers stunning panoramas of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. The pinnacle of the region and the starting point of the ski route is the Aiguille du Midi, a needle of rock thrusting defiantly over the other peaks. To reach it, travelers must take a cable car from Chamonix. The height, thousands of miles above sea level, can be dizzying, but once skiers get a handle on their surroundings, they're probably not wont to leave anytime soon.
To get to the ski route itself, skiers must make a brief hike along a ridge to the starting point. From there, it's an hours-long ride down the mountain that can be done alone or with a guide. According to chamonix.net, there is a mountain hut where weary skiers can stop for food and drink before finishing the trip. Once in Chamonix, skiers can kick back and relax or else start planning a mountaineering trek for the next day.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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