We finally left heavenly Val d’Isere. It was hard, but it was long overdue. It was time to get back to the adventures!
After nearly a week up in the high altitudes of Val d’Isere, the temperatures of the lowlands came as a very unpleasant surprise to us. It was hot, and we were once again uncomfortable. All we could do is open the windows, which sadly provided provided little relief.
But, on the upside, we were headed towards a lake, and you don’t want to go swimming in a lake when it’s cold. In a cruel twist, it took us a little too long to get here, so that by the time we’d actually arrived, it was late in the afternoon, and the temperatures had cooled.
We stopped at the first place we found where it was possible to park, got changed, and rushed to the lake. The views of the rocky massifs beyond were incredible, but the lake itself had yet to ‘wow’ us. The waters were a little murky, which neither of us had anticipated. Of course we still jumped in for a much needed swim. We were both surprised that the waters were actually quite pleasantly warm – I’d been bracing to have my breath taken away.
It was now 7PM by the time we’d parked in town. Fortunately, this meant that street parking no longer required a ticket! Risa made a couple of quick galette complete, which we took down to the waterfront for a mini picnic dinner. It was beautiful down here by the lake, with lush green grass, sunshine, and views out over the lake to the mountains in the distance.
It took a while to notice, but we finally did. The water here was translucent, as if not existing at all. We were watching the swans dive below the water, and we had perfect vision of what they were doing. This water was rushing out of the lake, and through a small river/canal through town. The water was so clear that even a stray tossed bottle was glaringly obvious.
It was a story book view, with beautiful bridges, beautiful scenery, and beautiful turreted buildings. There was no shortage of cafes and restaurants lining the side of the river, and I could imagine it also being a great view to enjoy with your meal.
The old town was surprisingly large. It seemed to stretch on for several blocks, with each block just as beautiful as the first. This part of town was very much set up for tourists, with every building aiming to sell something, be it food or gifts. There were dozens of small cobbled alleys, some taking you to unique views unspoilt by restaurants/cafes/souvenir shops.
We managed to refrain from the shops (which was easier on a full stomach), but the smell of cheese was intoxicating. I wish that there was a way of capturing and sharing it for future remembrance.
There wasn’t much for us to do in Annecy, but just being around this very beautiful old town was soothing and entertainment itself. I feel it’s the kind of place you could comfortably relax for a few days, fitting in a little road cycling, and maybe rowing/paddling on the lake in between fondues and coffees.
We are passing tantalisingly close to the Tour de France again this year, so we pushed on for another few hours tonight, leaving the motorways behind, and travelling through the beautiful country side, enjoying the quiet roads in the late evening twilight.