Sunday, August 8, 2010


Make a mental list of all the cities you know of in Spain or Italy or Germany. Several, right? Now think about France. My guess is Paris came first to mind and then the list quickly tapers. Unlike most countries in Europe with several large cities, France is built around the single City of Light. Up until recent years the rail system here even reflected this; Paris was the single hub of the wheel and to get to another part of the country you had to first travel to Paris.

Prior to this summer I had been to Paris a few times, but not explored the rest of the country. My goal for the summer was to focus on seeing a much of France as I can - especially towns I had never even heard of up until now. I asked people well-traveled in France what their favorite town is and was told "Annecy" several times. Having never even heard of the place I decided it must be worth exploring.

Delightful Annecy is in the Haute-Savoie region in southeast France near the Swiss border. Colorful flower box lined canals meander through the heart of the old town. The jewel though, is Lac Annecy (Lake Annecy). Situated in the foothills of the Alps, this topaz gem is 40 kilometers around and outlined with charming homes and castles.We went on a relaxing boat ride and the houses and private castles were just jaw-dropping!

On our second day in Annecy we rented bikes and rode the circumference of the lake. Most of the 26 miles is fairly flat, but there is one stretch of hills that made me want to throw my bike in the lake. The jaw dropping vistas distracted me during the three-hour ride. After spending so much time in wondrous places this year a move back to the scenery of Dallas would be a tough adjustment. (no offense Dallas I love you, but you're no village in the French Alps)

There was a musical festival taking place while in Annecy. It was very bizarre. It was mostly brass and percussion and the bands traveled around the streets. So it had some elements of a chaotic multi-directional parade. There was one group that were dueling drummers and used hand puppets. I cannot resist a musical sock puppet!

The rest of our time was spent sipping coffee and wine, napping in a park and of course eating ice cream. There is a place that has 55 unique flavors - and I thought I had already explored the outer boundaries of ice cream! I had reglisse, which is licorice flavored. It flavor was not over-powering, it was fantastic!

The trip was a great respite from the noise and busyness of Paris. And did I mention the hotel had air conditioning? For three sweatless nights it felt like I was living in the castle!

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1 comment:

  1. While living in France and working in Switzerland my hubby and I spent at least one weekend a month in Annecy, I absolutely adore this quaint and wonderful town and you described all of the highlights. The bike route is the best. Yummy food in many restaurants and a lovely town to walk around in!