Easter Monday is a national holiday in France. I woke up at 8:15 am and decided to catch the 9 am bus to Annecy, affectionately known as the Venice of the Alps. Everyone here has been telling me about Annecy – it’s gorgeous, it has a wonderful lake, it’s a great day trip from Lyon. When I peeked outside my window that morning, I was greeted with a blue sky and a wonderful sun, so a day trip was in order.
I arrived around 10:30 am and headed straight into the picturesque Vielle Ville. Wow. I can see why the call Annecy the Venice of the Alps. The center of town is built on little canals and have bridges that link everything together. Add in
a few many old, colorful buildings, flower covered homes and bridges, cobblestoned streets, and well, there’s Annecy. (Side note: I gotta go to Venice one day after seeing all these other Venices – I’ve been to a little Venice in Colmar, seen the canals of Amsterdam, and now the Alps’ have given me their version… what’s left but the real, physical Venice?)
But I digress. Annecy is the capital of Haute Savoie and is chic, popular, and tourist driven. I paid a visit to the old jail and the castle (on a hill, of course).
Then, I moved on to the truly picturesque part of Annecy – le Lac d’Annecy. Annecy is situated on the NW end of Lake Annecy and surrounded by the Alps. I started by going South along the river for an hour.
There were purple wisteria flowers everywhere, along the lake, in Annecy- all of which made the city smell so good! I walked up a small hill to reach the castle, but the real gems were found in the small cobblestone paths going up and down the slopes.
Eventually I headed back to the Lake, because I just couldn’t get over how beautiful the area was- with the mountains rising up behind the lake. This time I headed east and was able to look back on Annecy….
Annecy has something for everyone, whether it’s outdoor activities, beautiful landscapes, or If you’re into Savoyarde food (or if you’ve never had it!), you can eat fondue, raclette, and tartiflette. I didn’t eat any of these cheese and cream heavy dishes because I have been taught that those are foods only appropriate for the winter. Oh, and of course, if you associate France with love like most people do, then there’s some of that too.