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Highlights: France

21 September 2011 2,058 views One Comment

Annecy is on the edge of a stunning, crystal lake – Lake Annecy. It’s close to the Swiss border and the Alps, the whole region is wholesome-ly beautiful, you can feel your skin and soul improving with every minute and breath. The town is quaint, cobbled-street picturesque, optimising the water-front atmosphere at every opportunity.

la plage

It seemed that you could swim anywhere in the lake – we never saw, or understood, any restrictions, and I think there’s a good chance the life-guarding season had ended. Either way, it meant we could paddle, swim, splash everywhere. There are heaps of places to hang by the water – well kept parks, proper jetties, private beaches, floating decks. We opted for the grass beach at the bottom of our hill, not Annecy’s most salubrious spot but friendly and very pretty.

le camping

The most striking feature about the Camping Municipal is that it’s up an enormous hill, ha ha. It’s comfortable and accommodating (we had one of the cute chalets) and the views – as reward for the hike – are lovely, especially at night when the water shimmers and the lights twinkle. I love self catering in France because I love French produce; load me up with bread, any vegetables, crates of red wine and any other délicatesse and you have one happy LJ. Catherine feels the same and so we had some delicious, expansive, I think deeply impressive buffets at our chalet picnic table.

Annecy is a glorious place for outdoor sports. I indulged heavily :) Daily yoga outdoors, a beautiful forest run, and, with Catherine: swimming in the warm-enough, delicious lake water, paddling and bike riding. I’m now very jealous when I see photos of new Annecy friends running, wakeboarding etc they have it goooood.

les habitants

The town itself is really nice. I’m not sure how to judge between which parts are traditional, typically French/ Swiss, fantastically authentic, and which parts are faux-erected for tourists. But the clue is in the question, it’s hard to decipher and therefore it’s all done nicely and you can enjoy the town easily, comfortably and feeling brilliantly French. There are high street shops, classic boulangerie et charcuterie, newsagents & souvenir shops, and a heap of restaurants, bars, cafes, bistros, ice cream shops, crepe stalls… We found Annecy to generally be pretty busy in the day times, absolutely heaving in the evening and then desolate 9pm onwards, which is when the fun begins… Who would have thought that sweet little Annecy has a sweaty, pumping dance club in one of those brick houses?

Paris

Kate has an adorable apartment in the St Michel suburb. What happened to St Michel? It used to be adorable too..? I was stunned by the tourist scene here and we learned to avoid the hours 6pm-12 midnight, choosing instead to tip-toe on to the street at around, erm, 1am.

Neither of us were keen to trek the sights so we just hung in various neighbourhoods attempting to lengthen the time, and distance, between our pavement stops for coffee, beer or rose and some standard-issue behind-sunglasses perving. France is fantastic for appreciating boys, mostly because everyone looks and sounds sexy but also because they’re so openly flirtatious. Our various stops took us to the Rue du Louvre, the gardens outside the Palais de Justice and towards Odeon. I would recommend all of them for food and entertainment…

It was a gorgeous coupla days but I have to say when did Paris get so busy? St Michel as I’ve mentioned was bonkers and Gare du Nord was out of control. Are Eurostar giving away free tickets with the Daily Mail at the moment or something? I mean buuuusy.

Still, the French seem to be coping and during the seven/ eight days we didn’t suffer a lack of good food, wine or eye candy. Bon vacances…

x frenchluce

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One Comment »

  • Emma said:

    Ahh, looks so stunning…all of it! Everywhere seems so busy Luce, because you’ve spent too much time adjusting to the lovely slow Straya pace! Wish I was travelling these gorgeous places with you xx

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