Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weekend trip - Annecy France

The Alps and Annecy Lake....

Annecy (pronounced Ann-ci), is said to be one the Venice of the Apls by some. Its located on the foot of the Alps in the region of Haute-Savoie France. Close to the boarder of Switzerland, it took us about 1 and half to 2 hours ride from our place in Vevey. If one would drive from Geneva, it'll probably take about 30 to 45 mins! Along the way, the scenery of the Alps is just breath taking.

The old town area and their waterways

The town itself is nestled on the Lake of Annecy and are connected by canals that goes through it. The old town are mainly lined with cobbled streets and red roofed tiled houses, where pedestrian roam freely around the small winding streets.

On the streets of Annecy

The hotel we booked into was a small and clean 2 (or was it 3) star place strategically located next to the main sights. As parking is expensive and rare here, the hotel helped us to reduce our overnight (starting from 18:00 till check-out) parking fees! We just paid for the difference. It was a really nice gesture for them and not to mention a great publicity tool!

There's things to sell and buy here!

After checking into the hotel at noon, we went for a walk (a whole day walk, in fact) around the block. The streets were filled with tourists, street vendors and art/antique peddlers. As we arrived on a Saturday, the whole place is alive with plenty to see, buy and bargain. From our walk around town, we've discovered that the whole place is towered by a chateau which probably dates back to the 12th century.

As we stroll towards the lakeside from the town, we've pass by so many boat service operators along the way! Imagine PD or Cherating beach lined with banana boat, jet ski etc operators. The main difference is that they do boat rides, paddle and row boat rentals. The water level at the lake seems to be at their lowest this time around due to the heat wave I was talking about on my earlier posts. But it was still clean despite the alarming growth of algae in the canals.

Look how serene and peaceful it is!

It was getting pretty hot by the time we stopped for an ice-cream in town after strolling through their gardens at 3pm. It was a pretty amazing garden by the way. The trees are at least more than 10 or 20 years old as some of the branches are tied to the trunks for support. Then I spotted my favourite tree, the Weeping willow tree. This tree has been my favourite since I was a kid. There's something special about this tree. It gives a relaxed, peaceful, softer and kinda romantic mood and look to its surroundings....

Just right after the ice-cream and some window shopping that we decided to get some shut eye back the hotel. While window shopping, we saw a small potted bonsai on a window display. It had a special shape; a ginseng shape! Hubby loves bonsai so we decide to get it. Then right after walking out from the shop, I saw a LNS shop!! I was soo excited to find it even though I wasn't really expecting to find LNS here. The place was called Au Papillon along rue de la Republique. They have stocks from Royal Paris, Marie Coeur, Lanarte etc, etc... I just wish I could stash again this time. But the stern look on my hubby says; "No time lar! You could buy next time!", that makes me think twice....

Including this ice-cream, its been my 3rd so far and will it be the last for me?

I thought that the whole place would be quite by dinner time but how wrong I was! It was even livelier than during the day time with street performers on each street corner. We had ice-cream again right after dinner as they are always selling them in almost every caf├ęs on every street! Ice-cream sellers are doing brisk business here as almost everyone we walk past would be holding a cone or a cup topped up with different flavours. So right after dinner, we went ahead to get some more ice-cream!

The night time secene

Smelly cheese....

The next day was market day on the streets. As we walked down towards the pastry shop to get some croissant, the whole place smelt like horrible cheese! Don't get me wrong, I like cheesee but just not the type that has been moldy and well "aged" ones. The smell was so overwhelming that we almost miss the bakers place! After a fairly quick stop there, we made our way towards the chateau area and had our breakfast there. It was an amazing sight to look at while munching on an orange tart. Crooked houses with red (or moldy) roof tops that seems to be toppling over anytime soon against the massivee alps that seems to go and go.... Th escenery seems to transport me into one of Enid Blyton's stories... ahh... The day dreaming days of just doing nothing but reading! Just that, we'll have to go home after this... How sad. BUt I'm sure we'll take another short weekend trip like this soon!


Barbara said...

I like reading about your travels Shanny. It's very well documented, kinda like 'Globe Trekker'. Sounds like you and your hubby had a great time!

mrs lam said...

i wish my hubby & i could have a weekend getaway just the way you & ur hubby had.... how romantic....