Macon to Annecy
Day 5 Sunday 26th September 2010
Drive to Annecy, Stay at La Grange de Julie, Nurse a cold.
Chatter – he says
The drive to Annecy was very pleasant, especially as we were entering the mountainous areas, and we were becoming accustomed to RH driving, Paul and the behaviour of other traffic around us.
The old part of Annecy lived up to its expectations. Annecy is popular with Europeans, and is relatively free of the usual other international tourists. It sits on a beautiful lake surrounded by snowcapped peaks not unlike Queenstown's Remarkables, and is pleasantly quiet. Our private accommodation in an architecturally revitalised and professionally rebuilt old barn, was perfect. Unfortunately I found the bed attractive and crashed into it to try and recover somewhat knowing that we planned to do some high altitude tourism in the next few days. Jenny went out and touristed while I slept.
Chatter – she says
Hey I’m back! I am actually writing this at our villa in Lucca on 13/10 as I have discovered that writing blogs seriously cuts into the time you would rather spend touristing, eating and talking with your friends or researching the next day’s activities. It has begun to feel a little like a university assignment that I have to finish before the cut off date i.e our return to New Zealand. Also “He says” usually has the computer to do his blog (the swot) or the computer needs charging, or some one else is using the computer to book things or check their e-mails, or the computer is going flat and our one adaptor plug is being used to charge another of our many electrical appliances. Any way this morning I have a window, as we are all blobbing out in the villa whilst half the party is off on a food gathering sortie to the ‘supermercato’, so I will attempt to catch up with “He says”.
We left Macon and drove to Annecy, pronounced “Ancy” (to rhyme with Nancy) No wonder every French person who asked us where we were going next, looked blankly back at us when we said we were going to “Arnessy”.
Rolled into Annecy just before the boulangerie’s (bakeries), supermercatos, and even tourist information shops shut up shop for the 3hr lunch time recess (the rest of the shops were mostly shut as it was Sunday) so we managed to grab a picnic lunch to have by lake Annecy. This was wonderfully tranquil lying back on the grass with the peace only being disturbed slightly by the sound of the children near us who were engaged with long sticks in knocking chestnuts off some trees along from us, which was all rather rustic. Lake Annecy is very beautiful and a bit like Queenstown as it is surrounded by snow covered peaks, except that Queenstown lacks Annecy’s geranium festooned chalets and abundance of chateaux on the surrounding lower hills. The lake has crystal clear water as it was once heavily polluted and so a big effort was made to reverse it‘s pollution problems and now it is said to be the cleanest lake in Europe.
We drove on to our B&B which turned out to be the most fabulous barn conversion worthy of “Grand Designs” It was absolutely stunning and when we opened our bedroom window we had a gorgeous view of the lake with hang gliders riding the thermals above it after they launched themselves off the lower ridges of the mountains opposite. La Thiule, the little village outside Annecy where the B&B is, is a small rural town, beautifully decorated with flowers and fruit trees and gorgeous vegetable gardens everywhere. The little roundabout by the church had to be seen to be believed-(see photo). Having seen how the French decorate their round abouts I now feel Makara could make a little more effort and have taken photos to inspire the Makara Garden Club. I have never seen so many well kept houses, bristling with flowers and old world charm.
The B & B ( La Grange de Julie) was run by Sylvie and Francoise. Sylvie had had an American mother and spoke perfect American. Francoise, who only spoke French tended to lurk in the back ground, smiling but looking like he hoped we didn't try to converse with him in our appalling school french.
The best thing about La Grange de Julie was that they had just picked up that day two gorgeous birman kittens, so I had great fun playing with them.