While I was looking at a Facebook page, which I believe is called "Most Beautiful Places in the World," in February or March, I stumbled upon a picture of Annecy, France. I knew that we were staying a few nights in Geneva and that Geneva would be expensive, so I decided to see how far Annecy was from Geneva.
As luck would have it, it was just an hour and twenty minutes by train! I immediately added it to my list of places we had to visit during our time in Europe.
I'm so glad I did, because it was probably my second favorite place we visited, after Granada.
It was not Adrienne's favorite place, because she dropped a tomato on her dress, but we'll get to her pouting later.
(Interjection: The picture to the right is one of my favorites because I love everything about the building. The small windows, the flowers, the fact that it's directly on the water. It's so beautiful.)
I've mentioned before I'm a bit of a worrier when it comes to planning travel. Once I'm actually traveling, I don't worry a lot, but leading up to going I have to quadruple check everything. When I went to Japan in February, I had 4 completely empty pages left in my passport. I needed 3 empty pages to get my visa for China and I said to Elaine, "I'm nervous they're going to put one stamp on 2 different empty pages while I go through customs each way." And she said, "Lauren, it's amazing that you're even considering that as a possibility."
They did not stamp two different empty pages, only one. Probably because my worrying sent the message to them not to. I relate very strongly to the quote in "Bossypants" by Tina Fey as she said, "I keep my eyes on the sea, waiting to be rocketed into it on a wave of fire. I'll be ready for it to happen and that way it won't happen. It's a burden, being able to control situations with my hyper-vigilance, but its my lot in life."
(Interjection: The doors that clearly led straight into boats were fabulous; just like Venice!)
As a worrier, I reminded everyone not to forget their passports when we went to Annecy, since we were going into France from Switzerland. I was hoping to get a stamp in my passport, after the fiasco of not getting a stamp when we landed in Geneva from Spain. I was annoyed. Also, everything I read said we had to bring our passports.
The morning before we went to Annecy, I said to everyone, "Make sure not to forget your passports in the morning!"
That afternoon, I said to everyone, "Make sure not to forget your passports in the morning!"
That evening, I said to Adrienne as we arrived back at the hostel, "Don't forget your passport in the morning!"
As she came back from her shower, I said, "Don't forget your passport!"
She said, "I know! Stop reminding me!
(Interjection: As you can see, a large part of the main area in Annecy is a Medieval city and extremely beautiful.
We woke up early the next morning and headed to the train station. We were on time, which was unusual because Adrienne takes approximately all day to put on her makeup. We were almost to the train station when Adrienne said, "I forgot my passport!"
Nobody listens to me. I reminded because I care, but did anyone listen to me? No! They said, "Lauren, stop worrying!"
I knew this would happen.
She sprinted back to the hostel. I almost decided not to go with her, just to spite her. Then I realized that, if she got kidnapped, mother would never speak to me again, so I followed her back to the hostel.
Luckily I did because Adrienne's card key chose that moment to stop working and she couldn't get into the building, let alone the room.
Needless to say, as we walked to the train station, late again, I was irritated.
(Interjection: To the right is, surprisingly, an almost normal picture of everyone!)
Also, as a worrier, I strongly believe that you should carry your passport at all times, in case of theft, regardless of the bolt locks on the lockers. (That evening, Adrienne managed to lock her keys in the locker. They were easily able to cut the very sturdy looking lock to rescue her suitcase. It proved my point about always carrying your passport.
They did not check our passports. Or any form of identification.
We arrived bright and early in to Annecy, tired and starving. We found a cafe and got some croissants and coffee and then began walking through town. Since we arrived so early, we were able to see the town with almost nobody else walking around, which was great!
Adrienne, for a change, is the normal one in the picture above! I am looking off into the distance, probably thinking about how much I want to hurt Adrienne for not listening to me, while secretly looking cheerful about it.
Hmm, what's going on with me? I seem to have lost the ability to look at the camera
And a normal picture! The first of Europe!
I don't know a lot of the history, but I know that the Counter-Reformation, aka the Catholic Revival period, was centered in Annecy, which is interesting, since Geneva is so close and was one of the main centers of the Reformation. It was the capital of the House of Savoy.
Also, they've been excavating under the city and have found sites that they believe are from 2,500-3,100 BC. There was a Roman settlement there at one time.
The Medieval town was built around the Chateau d'Annecy, which they began to call "The New Annecy" in a text from 1107. The town is separated into several small parts by streams and canals coming from the lake.
It is also one the places the Tour de France goes through. It was actually passing through the day after we went this summer, which was fine with me because we missed a large majority of the crowds. I'd seen the Tour de France in Paris in 2005 when the traitor Lance Armstrong won, so I was ok with missing the crowds.
Also it was the site of a mass murder in 2012. I actually read about the murder around the time it happened.
I just love the architecture and colors and reflections combining to make it perfect.
There is no explanation for what she is doing. The only possibility I can think of is that she decided to whip her hair around like a model but ended up looking like a crazy person.
Adrienne and Anna jumped on them to experiment.
Other tourists laughed at them.
These buildings with the miniature windows were along the way.
We arrived and Anna immediately tripped.
That would have been fine except that she started gushing blood everywhere, requiring first aid attention. By the time the bandaid was finally on, there was blood all over the bricks.
So much for a quiet entrance.
The Chateau was built between the 12th and 16th centuries.
They also have regional art within the museum.
Part of it also housed the ecological history of the lake which was not exciting and was in French.
Well, it would have been embarrassing except nobody else seemed to be in the museum.
She literally pouted for an hour.
I got the idea from mother when, on a trip as a teenager, Grant, Adrienne and I were fighting and she got us to stop by taking pictures of us.
After lunch, we walked around the town for quite a while longer.
I loved the little windows in almost every building.
(I have since learned that she is a Contesse who was ridiculously wealthy, was Louis XV's mistress and she hated Marie Antoinette. I need to read more French history).
We got onto the train and it was approximately 1200 degrees in the train car. It was like sitting inside Mt. Doom.
Apparently, we were sitting on the ONE train car where the air conditioning was broken.
We continued on our trip much more comfortably from the air conditioned car.
We walked around the lake in Geneva for a while, then headed to bed. We went to Montreux the next morning! But that will be the next blog.