web analytics
July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Home » Sections » Travel »

The Height of Beauty

SY-111612-View

View of Mont Blanc from the station where the cable cars meet.

As the cold weather settles upon us, snow and ice become our constant companions. Although it is often uncomfortable, both snow and ice are not always associated with freezing weather. In the Alps, which are located in various European countries, snow and ice can be found throughout the year in breathtaking forms.

The European Alps is a giant mountain spine that divides Western Europe into northern and southern portions. The Alps mountain range curves all the way from the French-Italian border near the Mediterranean Sea, fills most of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and extends into Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.

The French Alps in particular, border both France and Switzerland. Regardless of the fact that they are not as well-known as their Swiss counterparts, they also afford magnificent views year-round. The French Alps are renowned for their stunning scenery, complete with beautiful mountains, rolling foothills, and pristine lakes and rivers. Europe’s tallest and most famous mountain, the Mont Blanc, is situated in the French Alps bordering on Italy.

The snow-covered Alps in France attract a host of people who come to ski or just enjoy the awesome scenery. Although the French Alps draw its unique fame from its ski trails, there are also many magnificent hiking trails to enjoy during the summer time. On a recent summer trip to La Plagne, a ski resort neighborhood in the French Alps, I stood in awe of the stunning snow-capped mountains there.

Tucked amongst the Alps are various glaciers. Glaciers differ from regular snow covered mountains. They are usually mountains, of higher altitude, in which the snow accumulates and freezes into ice. A glacier is not always recognizable from the exterior since it is often covered with fresh layers of snow.

La Plange

Many glaciers across the European Alps have in recent years begun housing incredible ice caves. The French Alps in particular had two mountain guides who came up with the idea of building an ice cave on a glacier in 1992. Their project took off immediately. The next year they decided to hire professional sculptors to create sculptures within the ice caves for public viewing. Due to the tremendous success of this venture, another four ice caves with sculptures were opened. Each ice cave has a central theme. To date, there are six ice caves in the French Alps. The ice caves are especially created at very high altitudes where the temperatures are low year-round to ensure that the sculptures stay frozen.

During my stay in La Plagne, I went to visit one such ice cave or Grotte de Glace as the French call it. In order to get to the cave, we first took one cable car about halfway up. Then we switched to a second cable car. There isn’t enough power in the cars for them to reach the full attitude without stopping. At the station where the two cable cars met, we were almost knocked over by the most unbelievable view of the surrounding mountains, including the famous Mont Blanc.

Ice Sculptures of animals in the Grotte de Glace in La Plagne. A goat, fox and deer.

The Grotte de Glace in La Plagne was built in 2005 on the Summit of Bellecôte glacier which is 3,417 meters (11, 210 feet) high. It houses a gallery with several rooms and is home to spectacular sculptures directly carved into the ice. The cave is approximately 150 meters long featuring the masterpieces in translucent shades blue. The sculptures are of various different life-sized animals, including a fox, bear, deer, and even a huge elephant.

Each year thousands of people visit the Grotte de Glace in La Plagne to enjoy the exceptional beauty of the unique sculptures.

 

Compiled and Photographed by S.Y. Einhorn

About the Author: S. Y. Einhorn is a teacher and mother of four who lives in Monsey, NY. She does both writing and photography as a hobby. Her articles and photos of her extensive travels have been published in various magazines and newspapers.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Height of Beauty”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Vienna.
Iran Deal to Miss Fifth Deadline
Latest Sections Stories
Grieff-070315

In the face of evil, we can do acts of kindness. We can do good deeds.

Teens-Twenties-logo

I realized that I am an integral part of that man who wished to win – I am also a part of a nation; I felt like I was standing there and shouting, “I won.”

Teens-Twenties-logo

As I powerfully belted out the song, Ani Maamin B’emunah Sheleima – which means “I believe in God with full faith” – a thought suddenly crossed my mind.

Ganz-View-From-Window-logo

I do not suggest abandoning civilization for a pristine desert island or a hilltop in Judea or Samaria.

After diamonds were discovered in South Africa in the mid-1800s, Antwerp regained its prominence as the diamond capital of the world.

Search the Internet for innovative barbeque items and you might just be surprised at what you come across.

Orlando was once a place where people came only to visit and vacation. Now it is home to a burgeoning Torah community, a place Jewish families can be proud to call home.

You’re not seeking perfection. You’re seeking a life that an average person can manage and feel good about. Don’t feel pressure to change everything at once.

The smuggler’s life has been changed forever. He is faced with a major criminal charge. He will probably be sent to prison.

In Culture Shock, readers will also come to identify with a culture from the other end of Orthodox Jewry’s spectrum.

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Executive Function Disorder (EFD) have trouble keeping themselves organized and on-task.

Our Sages have told us exactly how we should act – and how our children should act – in Pirkei Avos, Ethics of the Fathers.

A second supposed difficulty actually becomes a reason to corroborate that Amestris is Esther.

I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other.

More Articles from S. Y. Einhorn
Einhorn-061915-Newport

With the famous Touro Synagogue, a variety of mansions, each with its own distinct personality, as well as the beautiful coast, Rhode Island makes for an excellent vacation spot.

Einhorn-121214-Bell

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Stroll through formal gardens, ride mountain bikes, or go rock climbing.

The Amish Village’s 12 scenic acres offer a genuine look at the community’s lifestyle and how it functions.

The Recycling Plant in Hillburn, NY, also known as an MRF, Materials Recovery Facility, offers an extensive education on the importance of recycling, as well as exciting activities related to recycling for children to enjoy.

New Hampshire, also known as the Granite State, borders Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Quebec. It is a state with impressive mountains affording beautiful views, flowing rivers and magnificent waterfalls. New Hampshire is famous as a prime vacation area both in the summer and the winter. Although it is over a five-hour drive from most places in New York, there is a kosher hotel and several minyanim in the summertime.

Museum Village, a replica of a typical American village during the 1800’s, was the vision of Roscoe William Smith. Mr. Smith was an electrical engineer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and collector who contributed in many ways to his native Orange County. He made his fortune in 1905 as founder of the Orange and Rockland electric company.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/travel/the-height-of-beauty/2012/11/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: