Sunday, February 20, 2011

Un dimanche dans la Haute-Savoie

As I mentioned , Pamela, like many others, works in Geneva, but lives just across the border in France. Having seen the sights in Geneva on the Saturday, Sunday Pamela brought me to see Annecy.

Annecy is a breathtakingly gorgeous mountain town in the Haute-Savoie department of France. As with Lake Geneva, I couldn't believe how blue and crystal clear Lake Annecy was. There are many Venices in Europe--essentially every town with canals and bridges is nicknamed Venice--and Annecy is called the Venice of the Alps. Annecy's canals and architecture reminded me a lot of Bruges.

Annecy is bidding on the 2018 Winter Olympics. Being from Vancouver, I found this especially interesting and couldn't help but think of how amazing a location it would be for the games.

We spent the early afternoon leisurely walking around the old town's bridges. The old town is dominated by the Château d'Annecy, a medieval castle where the Counts of Geneva and the Dukes of Genevois-Nemours lived and which is now a museum.

Later that afternoon we drove to the tiny but picturesque medieval walled city of Yvoire, which is situated on the French shoreline of Lake Geneva. The village is so small, it only takes twenty minutes to walk around. During the warmer months, Yvoire distinguishes itself as "le village le plus fleuri de France," and also has a garden of the Five Senses. Like Annecy, Yvoire has a castle, but more incredible still is that it has been inhabited by the same family since the seventeenth century!

After a leisurely visit of Yvoire, Pamela drove me back to the train station in Geneva. It was a beautiful drive along Lake Geneva at sunset and I was amused one last time at our nearly unnoticeable transition into another country.

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