Day 2 in Annecy was another whirlwind of a day. We woke to the sound of rain, so already we knew we were in trouble. After breakfast, the first item on the agenda was a short walking tour of the city and a boat ride, which wouldn’t exactly fair well in rain, but when in France, you get your umbrella and deal with it.
We got a late start, so we actually started eating breakfast around the time that the rest of our tour was leaving. We said we’d catch up and then took our time. But by the time we finished up and made our way into town, we’d caught up with the tour before they reached the town center.
After a short walk, we made our way into the open market. This place was huge, busy, and full of delicious smelling things. Flowers, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, salami, all kinds of fun stuff. We’d already decided that lunch for the day was going to be a picnic, so we decided to spend the next few minutes perusing the market to select our items of choice. We got strawberries, apricots, a loaf of bread, salami, and some cheese. All of the shopkeepers were also really nice and patient too. Not many of them spoke English, but they were very nice to us. Between our rudimentary French, and their rudimentary English, we were able to complete our transactions and walk away with yummy fresh food.
Next was our lake cruise. Now, the cruise was a little disappointing. Not because it wasn’t relaxing, or beautiful, or any of the things you want a cruise to be. But it was raining and gray outside. We kept joking that we’d somehow wound up on the Maid of the Mist of Niagara Falls fame. That’s certainly what it felt like. But hey, we still got to see some pretty houses and hotels and a gorgeous castle. They were all just a little wet.
Following the boat ride, we made our way back to land and were greeted by beautiful blue sky and sunshine. Juuust in time for the boat ride to be over. But it was okay, we knew we had other adventures scheduled, so we weren’t sad.
First we had our picnic on a bench in front of the water. We tore off pieces of bread and sliced the cheese and salami with my new pocket knife. That thing’s coming in handy. Also Jen started feeding the finches with some of the bread. One cute little finch turned into twenty cute little finches. And then one of those finches, who we declared, “Jumpy,” hopped up for the ground and grabbed a big chunk of bread out of my hand. Like, the fluffy inside part of the bread. I was excited to eat that part. Then it was a finch feast. I blame Jen.
Following our lunch, we did a bit more walking around. Jeurgen had offered up an optional bike ride as another activity, so we headed up to the hotel to change into more bike-friendly clothes. On our way back up, we stopped in at a chocolatier, so Jen could sample some local chocolate. We also found a soap shop, which, as a person obsessed with soap, I was excited to find. I picked out a few bars and then went to the shopkeeper to pay. As I was paying, a giant French Bulldog came wandering out of the back room. She tested the waters with Jen and I, walking over to see if she would get any of our attention. After a couple of ear scratches and “Oh, look how cute you are!” she was on her back getting simultaneous belly rubs from Jen and I. It’s safe to say she had a good afternoon.
After changing at the hotel into our bike clothes and bathing suits, we met Jeurgen and eight others at the bike shop. We each chose a bike and soon we were off on a panoramic ride along Lake Annecy. It was absolutely breathtaking. We rode for maybe 45 minutes in one direction, then took a U-turn and headed back. On the ride back, we hit a bit of a speed bump when Jen got stung by a bee while on her bike, but she was a trooper and stayed upright until she could pull over. Everyone was super concerned for her safety, but she kept saying “I’m alright!” and we stayed on pace.
Once we were back in town, we were parched from our exercise, so we decided it was time for a water. Of course, next to the restaurant with the water, we found a restaurant with gelato, so we added that to the menu. Jen got apricot and I got pineapple basil, which sounds weird, but was actually really good. We snagged a seat right in front of a restaurant which was playing the France vs. Uruguay soccer game. Of course the entire town at that point had parked themselves in front of TVs in various sports bars, squares, and lobbies, covered from head to toe in blue, white and red. We were lucky enough to witness the first goal in the soccer game, which, luckily, was for France. Everyone yelled out in victory, the whole city, all at once. The atmosphere was hilariously ecstatic.
At that point, we decided it was time for a swim. My one regret after my last visit to the Alps was that I never made it into one of those gorgeous Alpine lakes, so I made it my goal to make sure it happened this trip. Lake Annecy was calling my name.
We joined up with Marcel and Stephanie on our way to one of the beaches and stopped along the way a couple times, taking pictures at the prettiest spots. Then finally, after a longer walk than we realized, we finally got to hop into the lake. The water was on the cold side, so I found myself inching in, and then finally hopping off of the steps and into the lake. It was nippy, but the water was so clean I couldn’t resist. Marcel and I also rode the water slide into the water. That slide shot you forward like a CANNON. I got a full six feet of air before I hit the water.
While we were swimming, we started hearing the celebratory yelling from the nearby hotel and the honking on the street. Ah. France had won the soccer match. It went on for so long that we started tuning out the noise.
After drying off we started to make our way back to the hotel. We just wanted a convenient dinner after a day of cycling and swimming. Of course, on our way home we got to sample more of the celebratory culture of soccer. Apparently this match was one that advanced France from the Final 8 and the Final 4 of the World Cup. So, they were happy. We saw this one kid, maybe ten years old, running around the streets with the French flag tied around his shoulders yelling about victory in French to every passerby. That was adorable.
We made it to the hotel for a surprisingly delicious dinner. On the menu was tartiflette, which was a local specialty. It was potatoes and bacon and cream sauce and cheese. So basically, eating it every day would make you gain a hundred pounds, but for one meal it really hit the spot. We also split a slice of chocolate cake with marscarpone, so that was also good.
Following dinner, we headed up the stairs quickly for an easy transition to bed. After packing up, taking showers, and watching a couple episodes of The Good Place on Netflix, we called it a night.