Top Achievers will travel from Geneva, Switzerland to Chamonix, France, an idyllic mountain village nestled beneath Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak.
by Chris Bartholomew
"On day two of the 2020 Shaklee Top Achievers Trip to the French Alps & Riviera, Top Achievers will travel from Geneva, Switzerland to Chamonix, France, an idyllic mountain village nestled beneath Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak. They’ll soar high above the valley floor in an aerial tram to Aguille du Midi, a granite spire over 12,000 feet up, and have a chance to experience Step into the Void, a glass skywalk with 3,000 feet of, well, void, directly beneath their feet. After time to explore the village, they’ll finish the day with a journey on the Montvers cog railway to the Mer de Glace glacier and an exclusive engagement at the Grotte de Glace, a cave carved each season into the living ice.
"Last November, during a lunch overlooking the Mer de Glace, I explained to my guide Ulysee (who leads a double life as a ski instructor and spent last off-season skiing in Australia and surfing in Bali), how my goal for the Top Achievers Trip is to create an intensely local experience guests wouldn’t be able to book on their own. Immediately the conversation turned to cheese. “I know this farmer, with a shop in town. We could have a cheese and wine tasting there. He even has a cave! . . .” Suddenly, a spark went off in his eyes, “. . . and génépi! Do you know génépi? It’s an aperitif infused with an herb that grows on the slopes of Mt. Blanc . . . “
"A few phone calls later, Ulysee led us into a warm shop with a library of cheese lining its rustic walls. I introduced myself to the shop owner. “Bon Soir! Je m’appelle Chris. I’m bringing fifty of my friends to Chamonix in March of 2020. I want us to experience the flavors of the French Alps. Go!” Grand hand motions detailing the contours of alpine summer pastures were followed by generous slices of cheese and a génépi chaser from farms scattered beneath the surrounding snow-capped peaks.
"Having passed the initial cheese initiation, we took an expedition down a back stair to the cheese cave, admired the patina and rust of aging wheels laid out on oak planks, and witnessed the assistant shopkeeper ceremoniously slice through the rough rind with a special wire, revealing a deliciously creamy interior. We shook hands, took a group photo, expressed heartfelt, “Merci!” and reluctantly left for a dinner reservation a few streets away. The afternoon had been an absolute dream.
"I felt like I had experienced the heart and soul of rural France in a single day. But Just think, Chamonix will only be a single day of the 2020 Shaklee Top Achievers Trip! I can’t wait to share more details about the other six days over the coming weeks. Come for the mountains! Come for the cheese and génépi! Whatever your motivation, take action now to close February strong and to be well on your way to six nights and seven days of discovery in the French Alps and Riviera."