This is a post I’ve been planning for a long time. This is about where I live: Annecy, France. I’d never heard of it before and come to find it’s on many short lists of “Best Small Towns In Europe” or “Hidden Gems of Europe to Visit”. This will be a general overview of the town. I’m doing some research, so I’ll learn something, too! More pictures, less words 🙂 It has taken me a while to get all the photos and as I sort through my pix, I’m missing a lot of landmarks. I’ve already started to take some sites for granted and this post will help me appreciate everything more.
Annecy, pronounced an.si, is located in eastern France and is 22 miles south of Geneva, Switzerland. It is a 14th century medieval town nestled by Lake Annecy and the French Alps. It is very popular for it’s many outdoor activities: hiking, trail running, cycling, skiing, all sorts of water sports, and many more. In 2013 the Tour de France came through Annecy. The town has been called “the Venice of France” from all the canals, waterways, and narrow streets. Lake Annecy is the crown jewel of the area with a stunning backdrop of the mountains. It is Europe’s 3rd largest lake and is touted to be the cleanest lake in Europe due to strict environmental regulations enforced in the 1960s. It is very clear and blue and during the summer, a popular place to go swimming, paddle boating, kayaking, etc. In the summer, La Vieille Ville (Old Town) and areas by the lake are bustling with tourists. So many that some locals leave town to avoid the excess traffic congestion and crowds. For my first summer here it was fun to see all the visitors from around the world. Shops and restaurants in Old Town open on Sundays and have extended hours. Almost every weekend a festival or activity was going on. I’ll soon find out if they keep it up in the Winter. There’s several outdoor markets for produce and the one I frequent in Old Town operates 3 mornings per week year ’round. It’s the one I’ve posted pictures of before. I was told that a market in some form has taken place on the same, narrow street for centuries. Wow! I go almost every Sunday and I try to get there early to avoid the crowds. It’s the most popular one for tourists and it reaches a point where it’s nearly impossible to walk because of all the people.
There’s also a castle, churches, arcaded cobblestone streets, and quaint buildings that are now shops and apartments. You know, lots of old, old stuff. I won’t delve into the history of everything but here’s a website that does that for me, take a look! http://www.frenchmoments.eu/annecy/ The most-photographed landmark is the Palais de l’Isle, a sort of triangular-shaped building in the middle of the Canal du Thiou. It is now a museum but over the centuries it has served as a residence, a mint, and a prison.
FUN FACT: Annecy bid on the 2018 Winter Olympics. Nearby Albertville hosted the winter games in 1992.