Well the sun made a half hearted attempt on Saturday, so we ventured into Annecy, stopping en route at the village of Menthon st Bernard on the lake. Apparently it’s the birthplace of St Bernard. The clouds came over as we walked around the lake towards the old town. Annecy is a mix of French and Swiss influence and is called ‘little venice’ because of the canals running through it. Lots of little old alleyways to wander through and over the canals. After a wander we decided to get a sandwich and eat by the lake. I say sandwich!! A half crispy baguette, loaded with salad and topped with melted racketeering cheese, enough to feed two but I managed as it was soooo delicious. Amr was a bit jealous as he had opted for the salt beef, equally as good but who can resist the smell of melted cheese☺️ Anyway, as we made our purchase the rain started, followed by thunder, so we sheltered under an arch and devoured our sandwiches. Making our way back to the car in the rain, good job we had thought to bring the brolly this time! All the people who had been enjoying the lake and park had disappeared, we were on our own!!
I had read about the Gorges de Fier about 10km from Annecy so Sunday we decided to explore it. The gorge was cut out from the rocks when the glacier melted, and then in the 1800’s they built a pathway attached to the side of the gorge over the rushing river below. Thanks to my trails by fear in Oz with Sally I can now do things I would had been scared of before. This was definitely one of those things!! Narrow walkway, nothing beneath but icy rushing river. Fascinating twists and turns through the gorge, amazing what nature can do. After the walk through the gorge and back we had a walk around the river before heading to Aix-le-Bain. Beautiful town on yet another lake, where by now everyone was enjoying the sunshine, even if the breeze was chilly. After a picnic lunch what’s better than a delicious ice cream watching the boats whiz by on the lake. We made our way back over the mountains with fabulous views particularly of Lake Annecy.
We set of today, a public holiday in France – they seem to have a awful lot of public holidays! – without a definite plan, just a general area we wanted to explore on the east of the lake. We stopped in a pretty little village -Thones- and there on the wall of a building was a map of the area with interesting places to visit! So after a walk round Thones we set off in the general direction of where we had intended. Interesting to see as we are near the Swiss border the style of houses changing from traditional French to Swiss style. On the way we saw a ‘site prehistoric’ an decided to explore. Just on the roadside was an elaborate shrine in a natural cave in the rocks. Just off the road we parked up and followed the signs for the site. We found ourselves climbing steeply up the. Mountain, to the sound of crashing water, the signs changed to Circuit de Cascades, and wow were they cascades! Fabulous. Lots of small bridges over the streams coming down the mountain, of course we stamped on each for the trolls!!! After our energetic climb and descent we had earned our picnic, looking over the snow capped mountains. We are sat now on the deck of the mobile in home watching the hang gliders swooping down from the mountain and bobbing about in the wind before making their landing not far from us.
We’ve enjoyed our stay in Annecy, seeing things we didn’t see on our previous visits, and now looking forward to a change of country as we pass into Italy tomorrow for a stay in Lake Garda. We are still pinching ourselves, as normally by this time on holiday we at setting off on our journey home, yet we are pushing on further away with no thoughts of return for a long while yet. Retirement certainly suits Amr, he even complained that French drivers are always in a rush to get somewhere and asked why they can’t just enjoy the moment!!!