As we knew we wouldn’t catch up with Remi until Sunday, we had very little planned for today, so we stayed in our room much longer and had a late breakfast. I can’t say we slept in, as I was up at 5.30am following the Collingwood vs St Kilda game on my laptop. When Marg woke later in the morning and called me to the window, there was a man wearing a rather unusual costume walking down the street. You will see him in the first photo. A buck’s turn, I guess.
Our first stop was the wool shop, right across the road and about six doors down from the hotel. The lady spoke English, so she and Marg had fun discussing wool types and needle sizes and patterns. Marg came out with a few balls of wool. We walked about a hundred metres, then she checked her phone and discovered another wool shop, which, according to Google Maps was only ten metres away. We turned a corner and there it was, so I went down to the River Thiou to look at the ducks while Marg bought some more wool.
We walked up a steep incline to the old Annecy Castle, but it was closed to the public for the morning, so we decided to try again this evening. We went back into the old town and wandered through the streets. It’s such a beautiful place. We found a place that sold baguettes, so we bought one each and headed over to the park by the lake to eat our lunch. We were there for quite a while, as it’s virtually impossible to eat a crusty baguette quickly, watching all the people come and go. Some hired boats or pedalos and ventured out onto the lake. Annecy on a Saturday is so laid back in comparison to what we’ve been witnessing in Paris on a Saturday, where the city remains on high alert while the yellow jacket protests continue.
Along the lake shore we came upon a group of guys and one woman racing scale model yachts by remote control. They were taking it very seriously, with one man clearly officiating and making sure everyone was following the rules. After some practice runs, the model boats were lined up behind the starting buoys and the race began when the starting signal was given. One boat failed to make it to the next buoy and was withdrawn from the race by an official. Eventually the Swiss competitor was first across the line, defeating its French rivals.
At 2.30pm we boarded a boat for a one hour cruise around Lake Annecy. Unfortunately the mountains on the far side of the lake, including Mont Blanc, were obscured by clouds, although we could see a little snow on at least one peak.
As the boat cruised past villages, hotels, chateaux, and other points of interest, the captain used his best English to explain the stories behind them. I must admit that I didn’t catch everything he was saying, but the cruise itself was relaxing and the scenery was beautiful. We passed a group of hang gliders circling high in the air at one point, though we couldn’t see where they were landing. We passed St Jorioz, where Remi grew up, and where his parents still live. At the centre of the lake, where it is around 45 metres deep, the water in the lake is still crystal clear and deep blue. It comes straight down from the mountains and provides Annecy with a great supply of fresh water.
Walking back to our hotel through the old town now, it was buzzing with Saturday afternoon crowds and the buskers were out in the streets entertaining the passers-by.
Photos of the boat trip are below.