Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Ten things I learned in Annecy, France...

Every time I take a trip somewhere, I like to wrap up my blog posts with a list of ten things I learned. It's kind of a nice way to sum up my trips for myself and for the people who'd rather read something short and to the point about the places I visit.  I write longer, more detailed posts, not necessarily for my readers, but for me when I'm in a place in life where I can no longer travel.  I like to keep the memories complete.  For those of you who just want quick and dirty, these ten things I learned lists might be more helpful.


Beautiful canals!

So anyway, here goes...

10.  The name "Annecy" has two syllables.  It rhymes with "fancy" and "Nancy" or even "antsy".  It's not "Ann-eh-cee".  Although Annecy is in France, most of your drive from Germany will likely be through Switzerland.  That's the fastest route, anyway.

9.  If you're looking for lodging that offers the most bang for the buck, you really should consider not staying in Annecy itself.  Annecy is a city in every sense of the word and it gets very crowded.  If you have access to a car, you may want to look at staying in an area outside of Annecy.  We stayed near Talloires, which is a much quieter and very serene place, maybe twenty minutes from Annecy, but a world away in terms of peace and quiet.  You can also camp near Annecy.  We spotted a campground and a "tiny house" rental park right across the street from our hotel, very close to the lake.

8.  Annecy Castle is more of a museum than a castle.  You can reach it by foot or, if you have a car, it's possible to drive to the entrance.  Be aware that except from June until September, the castle/museum closes from 12-2 pm for lunch and everybody gets kicked out during that time.  If you happen to be there on the first Sunday of the month, admission is free.  Also, in the lake museum, there appears to be a tower offering views.  Don't fall for it.  You'll get to the top and be rewarded with locked windows that offer a distorted view.

7.   Lake Annecy is said to be the cleanest lake in Europe.  The water is crystal clear and very blue.

6.  The area around Annecy is very popular with people who parasail and paraglide.  We saw a lot of people floating to the ground with parachutes.  I didn't see anyone whitewater rafting, but I'm pretty sure that's an option, too.

5.  If you want to take a lunch or dinner cruise during the warm months, you may want to book well ahead.  However, if you just want a boat cruise, you'll have plenty of options.  There are lots of vessels available for taking people on one or two hours cruises.

4.  If you have access to a car, you may want to consider visiting other nearby cities like Chamonix (pronounced sha-mon-ee) or Albertville.  Both were Winter Olympic cities and are especially attractive during the winter months.

3.  Beware of bikers!  I think I saw more of them in the Annecy area than anywhere outside of The Netherlands.  And some of them are pretty stupid.

2.  Hotel Les Grillons, located near Talloires, is not a fancy hotel, but does offer incredible food.  If you book their half board deal, you won't have to worry about finding dinner and chances are you will be very happy with what they serve.  Just be sure to let them know ahead of time if you need a substitution.  It's also kid and dog friendly.

1.  It may be best to consider visiting the Annecy area during a shoulder season.  In early May, it was packed with people.  I imagine it will only get more crowded as the weather gets warmer.  However, it really is in a lovely area that offers a lot to do, especially if you're the athletic type.  I recommend a visit, and am glad we got our chance to go.

I hope this list entices a few folks to consider visiting Annecy or one of the surrounding towns.  Of course, now I want to plan a trip to Italy.  I was really hoping we'd have a chance to cross the border.  Oh well.  Now I have a reason to research some more!



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