This train takes you on the short ride between Chamonix and the Mer de Glace glacier. We went there at the peak of season and it was packed. The trip provides really good view of the mountains and of course the glacial valley. Sit on the left side of the train to get best views (when going up the valley). The train ride arrrives at the top and there is a cafe (prices are reasonable) and a museum. You can either take a small telecabin or walk down a narrow and rocky pathway to the stairways leading to Mer de glace. We took the pathway and it was fine underfoot but be careful of your footing and have good walking shoes.
From the base of the walk you still need to go another 390 odd stairs to the entry of the glacier.
The interior has some ice carvings (and artifically illuminated); rocks entombed in the ice are fantastic. The ice cave has artificially illuminated ice walls. There was a St. Bernard that you can take a photo with for 6 euros. I think this bit is too kitch.
We did not need warmer clothes; just used a tracksuit top in the cave..
The walk back up is fine if you pace yourself as there are plenty of places to catch your breath.
The spectacular view makes it all worthwhile.
If you have the time do the trip. Life is too short.
tip- With a family, the Mont Blanc multipass is cheaper than just buying tickets for the cable car alone.
Wear good outdoor shoes and be prepared for walk up numerous stairs.
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