Switzerland

Mer de Glace – Sea of Ice

Did you know that cut into the glacier at Chamonix Montblanc, there is an Ice Grotto?

To get there we travelled on the Montenvers Train, which was built 100 years ago. The train takes around 20 minutes and travels just over 5km, taking passengers from Chamonix up to the edge of the Mer de Glace at 1913m altitude. The construction of the line required 118,000 m3 of earthwork, including 33,000m3 of rock and 32,220m3 of brickwork. 35 mules each day carried between 80 and 150 kg of materials.


In 1960 a cable car was constructed to transport the tourist part of the way to the grotto, there is still a steep climb with lots of stairs to come back up though. Husband and daughter were not so happy with the cable car. Daughter says she has “höhenangst”. Son does not have “höhenangst” he told us he has “runterangst”

In 1946 a Grotto was cut into the Glacier so that tourists could see inside of it. The grotto has to be reconstructed every year as the glacier moves and changes.