Saturday, 19 January 2013

Mountains up close and awe-inspiring

Day 188 18.01.13 Annecy

Lake (Lac) Annecy and snowy mountains - French Alps

It’s the coldest night of our trip so far here in Annecy.  Lowering the window blind gives us a glimpse of the famous lake with a backdrop of awe inspiring mountains and all is forgiven.  I’ve never seen mountains like this up close and I’m utterly overwhelmed by these views. 

Cheese at the uber French street marketWe prise ourselves out from under the duvet and tentatively head outside.  It sure is freezing but the views over the lake are second to none.  We stop for a while to take it all in and snap a few photos before heading into town.  There’s a market on selling some of the best food I’ve ever seen.  There are more varieties of cheese on offer than I knew existed, artisan sausages and lots of fresh fruit and veg.  There are a few stalls selling specialist condiments in tiny jars, great smelling flowers, expensive aloe vera toiletries and of course fresh bread.  It’s bustling with locals despite the cold and there is a man playing an accordion, France has never felt so French!

View down to the lovers bridge in Annecy, France in the Alps
We stroll for a while alongside the river, seeing the old prison in daylight this time.  The river is utterly crystal clear that trickles along filling the air with a relaxing noise.  I spend most of the time turning round to gaze at the mountains, I just can’t help myself.  The sheer scale of these things has passed me by before.  I’ve read how tall certain mountains are before but never really understood the size until I’ve stood in their shadow.  It’s nothing sort of breath taking. 

All the way along the river there are different coloured houses and attractive restaurants.  There are quite a few places closed for the winter though.  No doubt this place is bustling with tourists in the Summer months, its pleasantly quiet here now though and we can stroll along at our own pace.  Everywhere you look the views here are amazing.   From the chateau rising above the town, pretty church spires, the turquoise lake and those jaw dropping mountains…well I just can’t enthuse enough!

Riverside and mountains in Annecy, FranceWe walk up to check out the shopping centre only to be disappointed by its tiny size.  The walk back brings us out at a different point on the lake with mountains in a horseshoe shape behind the lake.  Once again this place takes my breath away (and not just because it’s cold!).  

Chateau d'Annecy, snow topped castle in Annecy, FranceThe temperature finally gets the better of us and we retreat to the library for charging, writing and wifi.  It’s very busy and toasty warm (these two things may be related!).  Libraries in France are very well equipped with facilities, have huge ranges of books and are always busy.  It’s nice to see such a wide range of people using the services here, especially youngsters.  The libraries always have the day’s newspaper and plenty of magazines that locals often pop in to peruse on their 2 hour lunch breaks.  It’s great for the community and a real shame that things in the UK aren’t more like this.  After a good couple of hours it closes and we head home for food, films and bed.

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