Sunday June 2, 2019
Our train this morning is pretty early so no cooked breakfast today. We walk the very quiet early Sunday Avignon morning to the train station. We have two regional trains today with a change in a place called Valence Ville. We are headed to the small town of Annecy. This town is on a lake and is near the Swiss border. It is surrounded by mountains and the French alps. There is not much to do here which is what we had figured we might need at this point of our journey.
We make our train connection with no problems enjoying the beautiful scenery. It is a cross between snow covered alps and areas that are cliffs which remind me of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah. We arrive after a scenic train ride, in Annecy at 1315. We check in and leave our bags in the luggage room. The nice girl gives us a map and tells us of the back way to walk to town which goes along the Thiou River instead of walking on the streets. We, of course, opt for the scenic slightly longer route. We get the added benefit of shade from the trees lining the river.
We then find a few canals that run through town and wind our way to where the river is split in two by the scenic prow shaped 13th century Palais de L’Isle. It was also once a prison used to hold captured French Resistance fighters. It is now a scenic spot for photographs.
From here, we walk down to the waterfront along Lac D,Annecy. It is Sunday so there are lots of people wandering about especially as it is a beautiful day. There are also an inordinate amount of paddle boaters, sailboats, and other watercraft plying the scenic lake. We were originally going to do a boat cruise tomorrow but with the weather being so nice we decide that we should look into doing it today. They have a two hour tour at 1645 and a few earlier one hour tours. We opt for the two hour which sails the whole lake. That leaves us with an hour and a half or so to kill. We wander town looking at restaurants, enjoying the people watching and the old architecture.
Then we walk around the waterfront again enjoying the waterfowl plying the shorelines for food. One bird that I think is a coot has really funky feet. The surrounding hills and mountains are incredible and the whole ambience screams, slow down relax, enjoy, life is beautiful.
It is time to get on the boat and we immediately know we have made the right decision. Because of the late hour in the day,mothered are only maybe 15 people or so on the boat. No little kids, no tour groups, which is the way we like it. We sail along stopping at little village ports along the way. There is commentary every so often pointing out sights of interest, natural beauty, or history along the way.
There is a castle above one town, still occupied by the family who has owned it for over 500 years. Now that is staying put with your roots. We see other castles and mansions, a few which are now hotels, but most are privately owned. The rugged looking high mountains are beautiful.
This is a big hang gliding area and we are surprised by the number of gliders we spot. In one area alone, I count over twenty five and I am sure there are more than that. One guy does a complete 360 going upside down for an instant, most likely on purpose, but not something that seems prudent. At the far end of the lake, we reach a campground which borders a nature preserve that leads up into the French Alps. Maybe another trip, we will check out the hiking. For now, we are very happy with this non pedi mode of transportation. From here we revers course heading back to Annecy near the opposite shore from our inbound journey.
The ride back is just as nice, more mansions, castles, beauty, and hang gliders. Approaching Annecy, I get a good picture of their cathedral on a hill, and the old chateau. We arrive at 1845 and walk into town where the crowds have dissipated.
We decide to eat at Tete de Cochon for a light meal of panini’s and salad. They are very good and it is not the typical hour and a half meal. We pass on dessert as we have eyed some ice cream stands on our walk. One of these had a line earlier that was at least 30 to 40 people. We go there and the line is maybe 5 deep. We get two boules (scoops) each and they give you a third flavor free mini scoop on top. I get baileys, violet and honey and white chocolate mini scoop. The baileys is incredible. I could easily go though a half gallon of that.
We stroll back out of town along the river to our hotel. We check in and get a very nice room on the fifth floor. It has been a very good day and we look forward to more relaxation tomorrow with no sightseeing to do.
Train from Avignon to Annecy. 97E
Ibis Styles Annecy Gare 92.98E
Sandwich for lunch 5.40E Cash
2 Hour Boat Tour Lac D’Annecy 39.60E
Dinner at Tete de Cochon 30.30E
Ice Cream from Glacier des Alpe 8.40E Cash
Walked 5 Miles