Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Annecy, days two and three: Winged Rats and Frosted Mice

Annecy, France (Annecy, France)
October 2015
Though one of the main features of Annecy is its lake, Fabienne hadn't had the opportunity to explore it as she had no car access. That's where we came in! With our trusty Denis at our side (and under us and above us and actually fully enclosing us), we loaded up on pastries at a boulangerie in the old town and drove along the shore until we found a nice wee picnic spot.

Perched on a little mound of grass, we were afforded wonderful views over the water to the surrounding mountains topped with wispy clouds.

Along with our token raspberry tart, we had brought along a pastry mouse filled with chestnut paste and a brioche aux pralines (meaning it was covered in pink crunchy things). Much nomness was had, including chilled Orangina, though we all agreed that the chestnut pastry was a bit weird. We were probably biased though, as we had all tried roasted chestnuts before and had not exactly enjoyed them.

Continuing along the coast, we took in the sights of several lakeside villages being clung to by red ivy.

At one point we spotted a whole troupe of paragliders swooping along the mountaintops! I thought they were very brave.

We had planned on getting to know the old town more, but found that Saturdays were not a peaceful type of day and resolved to try again the next day. Instead, we raided Fabienne's flat for dinner supplies (briefly meeting her flatmate whose phone had met an unfortunate demise in the lake) and reconvened at our Airbnb.

Over a full antipasto spread of cheeses, salamis, bread and olive oil, chips and cider, we watched the All Blacks sufficiently trounce the French rugby team in the Rugby World Cup. Huzzah! Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, however, and the crepes we had planned on making would just have to wait until the morning.

And what a magnificent breakfast it was! With caramel and chocolate sauce and a bottle of cider, it could be deemed the breakfast of champions (wheee go All Blacks woooo!).

Fuelled for the day, we set about surveying the market stalls which wound through the streets of the old town.

Each stall was very specific, selling cheeses, nougats, salamis and the like. I found an olive stall which provided free samples of tapenades! Free samples were definitely the way to go, as in general the stalls were a bit too pricey for our budget.

Though it was very busy, we wanted to see the length of the market and squeezed ourselves through the throngs. We even made it so far as L'Etage (a restaurant that specialised in fondue), and made a reservation for later that evening. After the overwhelming surge of the market we needed a break from humanity and ate lunch back at Fabienne's flat.

Emerging for dinner, we enjoyed a decadent meal of fondue and tartiflette - heavy on the cheese and rather too rich for me! Understandably we were much too full to consider dessert and instead took our distended bellies on a tour of the old town.

It was even more charming lit up with lanterns, and we were surprised to find that bats resided under the bridges! They were very fast, but we could just make them out swooping around, and Yannick attests that he heard their high-pitched squeaks. Though Fabienne and I strained to hear them, we were unsuccessful and stuck to watching them catch their own dinner of insects.
Fabienne had class the next morning, so we said our goodbyes and parted, to be reunited at Christmas as a home away from home.

Today's post was almost called: Yeah Nah, Rugby and Cider, Mate