The Mont Blanc tunnel is closed, ‘2Hr delays’ I am told. We’re already far too many hours into the drive, so many hours that I’ve lost count with delays at the Channel Tunnel due to alleged heightened security checks being the problem (although we weren’t checked once on our way into France strangely).
I’m secretly delighted about the tunnel closure; technical marvel aside, a chance to avoid 12km of straight road under the tallest mountain in Europe and head overland via the slow, twisting roads of the Swiss Alps is a much more exciting prospect to me. Not only that but it’s fresh and bright, with blue sky and a smattering of clouds ranging from brilliant white to foreboding grey. Thankfully I’m the navigator with the map and my camera in hand.
I trace the winding route east of Chamonix and notice another pass, suggest it over the walkie-talkie to our second vehicle and within minutes we’re back on the road again, winding this time to Martigney and then sweeping down to the Grand Saint Bernard Tunnel. I don’t mention if it’s technically the right route to the others or if we should search for a better one, all I’m thinking about is what I’ll be able to frame through that lens whilst my fatigue gradually melts away, replaced by the wonder that the mountains always inspire.