Tour of Argentiére

Since the majority of my readers will never come to Argentiére, and the rest have never even been out of the US, I thought I would share some pictures of where we have been living this summer.  Argentiére is like most villages in the Alps.  It has a grocery store and quite a few restaurants and shops which are all on the main route through town.  By quite a few I mean six restaurants and about as many shops.  Certainly there are significantly larger areas such as Chamonix, but even that is smaller than Frisco.  There are also even smaller places like La Tour or Montroc that do not even have a small grocery.  I hope the pictures will give you some idea of a typical Alpine village.

This is the Gare, or train station, across the street from our apartment along with the car park.

The train runs regularly about every hour.  Most would think it would get tiresome after a while, but we do not even notice it anymore.  It doesn’t make a lot of noise or honk it’s horn all the time.  It’s also free to use from Vallorcine all the way down to  Servoz which is quite a way past Chamonix.  Fortunately it does stop around 8 pm.

Our apartment is at the very top on the right.

Like most living spaces along the main street, there are usually businesses on the bottom floor and living spaces above.

Looking North at basically all of Argentiére main thoroughfare East side.
Trailhead for what I like to call, “the Goat Hill.”

The picture above is the beginning of one our favorite runs that leads up to Le Chesereys.  I call it the goat hill because we see Ibex every time we go up it and they look like goats.

This street leads to most of the houses in Argentiére.


This is the town plaza.

The town plaza is used for things like live music and the town party which was last weekend.  As far as we could tell, the town party consisted of some food and the selling of used books.  There was also a man singing on a stage.  I recognized some of his tunes, but was not exactly sure of the songs since for some reason he was singing in French.

The grocery store!

The big part of the sign on the left reads, “Marche U.”  That is the name of the grocery.  It’s part of a grocery chain called Super U.  For comparison sake, this grocery is about 1/5 the size of the Whole Foods in Frisco.  Really small.  I have become quite adept at ordering deux poulet blanc and demi kilo steak haché from the grumpy meat guy.  That is of course, two chicken breasts and a pound of hamburger.  He makes the hamburger while you wait.  He cuts off a hunk of steak and puts it in the grinder and voila, steak haché.  I also learned how to say “oui,” when he asks, “C’est tout?”  I used to just give him a thumbs up because I didn’t know he was asking me if that was all.  Every week our conversation is exactly the same.

Meat guy: Bonjour.

Me: Bonjour.

Meat guy: Qu’est-ce que tu veux?

Me: Deux poulet blanc et demi kilo steak haché.

Meat guy:  incoherent mumbling…

Meat guy: C’est tout?

Me: oui.

Meat guy hands me my stuff: Au revoir.

Me: Au revoir.

It hasn’t varied in a month.

Bridge over the river Arve.

As you can see, there are lovely flowers planted everywhere.  Even over the river which flows with glacier melt and was quite high in the June when we got here.

Town Hall/La Poste.

Yep.  Town hall and the post office all in one little building.

Catholic Church.

It is France, so you must have a Catholic Church.

One of two streets through the local neighborhood.

I am not exactly sure what happens when two cars enter this curve at the same time.  There is barely enough room for a single car to drive down the street so passing is not an option.

Looking south at the west side of Argentiére main street.

Hopefully you now have some idea about what Argentiére is like.  That concludes your walking tour of town.