Friday, October 16, 2015

A Holiday In Annecy October 9th-13th

Nothing outdoorsy or adventuresome about this post but I feel Annecy is worth including. It felt a bit weird returning to Geneva so soon after leaving the Alps but I was too preoccupied with ensuring we got  to our travel connections in a timely fashion to notice too much. Using public transport to get to Annecy is a little more bothersome than lets say Chamonix as it requires (normally) a couple of changes. It all worked out well for us as we got the train from the airport into the city and caught the SNCF train to Aix les Bains where another train took us into the centre of the city. An Adagio aparthotel was our choice of hotel and its excellent location near the station meant that we were settled and ready to explore shortly after 2pm.
A selection of pictures from Annecy

We stayed a total of four nights and to be honest we were sorry that we hadn't booked for longer. It is a gorgeous town with an old sector that is utterly charming and a vibrant modern sector that has much to please the visitor as well. While there there was a "return from the Alps" festival that was a delight of pageantry and family fun with lots of authentic Savoie delicacies to be enjoyed as we wandered through the packed narrow streets. Another display of interest was the enormous market that covered several streets that was crammed full of local produce and delights. We also visited the nearby city of Chambery that was once capital of the region before the hoi poli switched to Turin. Its plazas and grand buildings juxtaposed wonderfully with the narrow streets and "secret" squares the were scattered throughout the city.

The old town is wonderful

A 13th century building on an island. You can see why it is called the Venice of the Alps

The modern side was lovely as well

Only in France

Just a fraction of the huge market

They make a lovely sound

The parade

We very briefly visited Aix les Bains and saw enough to promise ourselves that if or when we return we will spend more time in this thermal spa town. A quick visit to Chamonix completed our tour of the area and it is fair to say that if you removed the mountain scenery from the town its charm is sadly exposed when compared to the other places we had been. For exercise I did nothing more than go for a couple of runs along by the lakeshore which (while in an undeniably stunning setting) was an exercise in dodge the people and cyclists that teemed in the area. I don't think I would like to go here in the high season as it must be packed to the rafters and would not be to our liking. A walk from the SNCF train station (currently closed and undergoing major reconstruction) to the central Swiss Rail station of Cornavin allowed us a decent glimpse of the bustling global city of Geneva before we caught our flight back home.
Aix les Bains

Le posh pissoir

A selcetion of pictures from Chambery

Some beautiful modern architecture as well

You can just make out a cross on the summit. Enormous at over 70ft high

Impressive and curious sculpture

An all too short visit but it is definitely a place we feel we would go back to and next time perhaps hire a car so that we could explore the outlying villages etc.
La Tournette in evening light

One of the reasons why I needed more exercise

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