October 10th, 2005:
Pays du Mont Blanc:
To view the Pays du Mont Blanc website you'll
Flash Player installed.
While a lot of websites insist on using a
pointless Flash intro, most of them can be skipped quickly.
There is no skip option at Pays du Mont Blanc
but they do offer French and English versions.
Of the five images that rotate, on the splash
page, the one of the train and mountain appealed to me the most - so it's the one we used
for the screenshot.
The Mont Blanc region is well known for its
high altitude skiing, ski touring and mountain climbing; with Chamonix the most famous of
the 14 resorts.
As the site is wholly in Flash, we can't link
into sub-sections. So we'll just guide you through it.
The main sections are: Snow; Mountains;
Villages & Resorts.
Mouse over the sub-headings and you get these
interesting background shadings.
sub-menu then lets you choose between Alpine Skiing, Nouvelles glisses (new ways of
sliding down a mountain), Grand Ski, Nordic sports and Major events in the snow.
sub-menu offers up Kingdom of Mountaineering, Temple of nature, Mecca of Trekking,
Thrill-seekers' planet and Great spots.
& Resorts option then displays a choice of Pastoral atmosphere, Family
atmosphere, Baroque atmosphere, Festive atmosphere and Accommodation (although there are
no accommodation listings).
Pays du Mont Blanc is primarily a presentation of what the area has to offer and a
beautiful example of how Flash can be used effectively.
While browsing these three sections, a map of
the region is close at hand (bottom right) if you want to (mouse over it and) jump
to one of the 13 featured resorts (Chamonix, Combloux, Cordon, Domancy, Les
Contamines-Montjoie, Les Houches, Megève, Passy, Praz-sur-Arly, Saint Gervais,
Sallanches, Servoz and Vallorcine) - some of them with webcam links (click on the camera
to see the resorts with red dots).
sidebar menu points you to latest news; tourist office websites
(documents); goodies (under construction - although they're there in the Version
Français); a contact form; how to get there (access); and a link to the latest weather.
The downside to Pays du Mont Blanc being a
totally Flash presentation, with no HTML documents to access, is that search engines have
nothing to spider - apart from the long list of keywords in the flash.php Meta tags.