My next stop in France was to another eastern area, the department of Haute Savoie. This place borders Switzerland; thus, the scenery and food are quite similar. Haute Savoie is a land filled with Alpine mountains and lakes, world-class ski resorts and delicious cheese (such as Raclette and fondue cheeses). I decided to spend my exploratory 1.5 days in Annecy, a town adjacent to a lake that bears its name.
Annecy, as you probably could have guessed, is a charming town. The old town contains buildings with pastel colors (yellow, red, orange) with passages (pedestrian tunnels) dug underneath them. There is also a small river that flows through town, which along with its bridges gives Annecy another angle of beauty.
I spent a considerable amount of time walking and relaxing along Lake Annecy. This lake contains crystal-clear, blue-green water, even during an overcast day. It is a glacial lake, similar to those found in the Canadian Rockies and in Patagonia. To describe how beautiful Lake Annecy is, let’s just say I thought I woke up in heaven even when I was lugging my heavy backpack.
Along the lake, one can participate in a multitude of activities: windsurfing, kayaking, paddle boating, sailing, etc. The adjacent mountains also provide plenty of hiking. I can only imagine how picturesque this place would look in the winter, with snow-capped Alpine peaks all around.
One intriguing event that occurred in Annecy while I was there was the Animation Film Festival. This again illustrates the commitment that the French government and public have towards culture. This festival showcased films from around the world at multiple venues, including an outdoor lawn overlooking the lake.