This sea of ice was once a verdant and lush meadow – the grass was fragrant and sweet, different flowers bloomed here, and a gentle breeze engulfed the land in its soft embrace. Life was good for the shepherds who brought their sheep and cows to graze here.
One day an old woman came begging, torn clothes and weather-beaten face, but the shepherds were too busy to notice her. She was hungry, cold and had nowhere to go, but the shepherds didn’t care, their days were spent in this beautiful emerald land – all nurturing and giving. The old woman did not give up; she persisted because she needed help, and so she went to them again one last time, imploring them to act. In their apathy and belligerence, the shepherds threw stones at her and shoved her away. In a blink of that same second, she transformed into an enchantress and turned her cold rage towards them. She cast a spell over the meadow freezing it immediately into a cube of ice. Wherever she looked rivers of ice were formed and just like that in a matter of minutes, the pasture was frozen underneath a thick, opaque slab of ice. When you put your ears to the frozen ground, you can still hear the cow-bells tingling, and if you are really quiet, you can even hear stray goats bleating. And then, all is silent again. Mer de Glace is a glacier today, but it holds the memory of the place and life on Earth as it once was.
For many years, the cursed mountains of Mont Blanc, located on the northern slopes of the massif, in the French Alps has been a source of great mystery and sorrow. The complete unpredictability of the weather and the ice crevasses make it a treacherous climb and hence the Mont Blanc Funicular Train that runs from Gare du Montenvers make it such a safe, comfortable and joyful journey into the heart of Mer de Glace (literally translated - Sea of Ice). The train climbs a steep track to a stunning vantage point above the glacier. From here, views of Les Grandes Jorasses and the Les Drus are exceptional.
We spent an entire day at the top station at Montenvers. The weather was sparkling and kind and the open platform provided a spectacular view of the glacier. You can almost hear cowbells as you stand on its many balconies and look into the frozen valley below.