Pretty much the only reason Lyon was on my original trip plan was because it made for a nice day trip to Annecy. The fact that it was a very interesting city in it’s own right, I didn’t know until we got there.
Today was the day for the trip to Annecy. It’s about a two hour train ride from Lyon to Annecy, so we left around 8:00. The ride was quite pretty as it goes along another lake on the way.
We got to town, and saw one sign for tourist info, and then couldn’t find it. Luckily the hotel we popped into didn’t get too mad and had a map. Once we figured out how to get there, we set off for the city center area, which is along a few canals/rivers and not too far from the lake.
We quickly ended up by the lake, looking at the boat rentals. We saw a lot of sailboats out, and both knowing how to sail, went off to try to find how to get one. Turns out, you can rent catamaran boats (which neither of us have sailed before) and you need to know how to rig them from nothing. There were little boats which I’d say are similar to sunfish which I’ve sailed plenty, but they were only for the sailing school/camp. So that didn’t happen.
One of the things both Amy and I had found as a “thing to do in Annecy” was to check out the prison. I seem to have forgotten to take any pictures of this, but the signs and explanations going through were pretty good. Especially for still being in France, the fact that anything was in English was a huge plus.
The tour covers some of the cells used to hold prisoners; the kitchens, which at one point in the buildings life were used to mint coins; the courtrooms and judges areas; additional cells which were used during WWII when the area was Nazi occupied; and the courtyard and chapel. Perhaps I missed an area in the naming, but I was surprised by how large the place was. It certainly didn’t look it from the outside. The toilets in the building were holes that simply fed directly into the canals. Ew.
On that note, we were off to lunch. One of the blogs I found in my search for things to do in Annecy listed restaurants. And food to try. This caught my attention:
Tartiflette – Your waistline’s worst nightmare and your stomach’s dream come true. A large dish of potatoes, onions, and bacon melted into heavy cream and Rebluchon cheese. Just pretend it’s fat free and shove it in your face.
Also listed was the restaurant Le Chalet which she ate this at. Luckily it’s a small town and at some stop we found wifi and looked the place up. It was right on the canal. And even though it wasn’t winter, it luckily wasn’t a sweltering day, because Amy and I were both set on this dish. And when in France, with someone else, a bottle of wine with lunch is a must. And believe me, we both followed the instructions above. These dishes were empty when we finished.
After lunch we hiked up the hill to the Chateau. I was hoping there would be some stuff about life as it was lived here, but it’s actually museums. One of which was an aquarium, one which explained bits of the history of Annecy. A weird bit about the discovery of some mermaid remains…. Ah legends.
However, the Chateau was on the top of the hill (I’m no longer surprised by this choice for locations).
We had been debating renting bikes to see around the lake a bit farther, but they were expensive, and a paddle boat was a similar price and got us onto the lake. The lake is an insane teal color, that my camera refuses to capture. And man, we had both forgotten how much work a paddle boat is. Thankfully we both enjoy exercise. It’s like biking, with a really poorly sized bike.
We lucked out that they said our time out was shorter than it was, so an extra half hour for free!
After this we wandered around town a bit more, checked out another park, finally wandered past the tourist info spot, and then decided to head back to Lyon. Being that our train ride was going to be around dinner time, and that lunch had not been cheap, we opted for the, ever fabulous, train picnic. (That is not a sarcastic statement. I love this.)
This was a full day, so we each headed home when we got back to Lyon. I would definitely go back to Annecy again, or one of the other towns nearby on Lake Annecy or the other lake the train went past (which might be a tad bit less touristy).