Lac d’Annecy, France’s third largest lake, is 14+ kilometers of sea-glass aqua, emerald crystal, opalescent blue topaz, clear sea-green water. It is said to be the purest water in Europe. A glacial lake, Lac d’Annecy is fed by five alpine rivers and an underground (at 82 meters depth) spring. Paul Cézanne’s 1896 painting of the lake, called simply Le Lac Bleu, is a mélange of blues. This painting’s angular, static feel might not have inspired me to go to Annecy, but soon after I saw Google’s flowing, soaring photos of Lac d’Annecy, I had my plane and train tickets.
At planning time, I did not realize I would not be able to have this vertiginous view; it is reserved for golden eagles and paragliders. No matter. I enjoyed the lake’s blues from boat and land level. At the time, I did not realize ten villages, not just Annecy, bordered the lake. No matter. Annecy charmed me. At the time, I did not realize Annecy would be mobbed by tourists. If Annecy is so popular, why is there no direct transportation to it? No matter. Some rail and bus routes do stop there.
Despite my naïveté about this Haute-Savoie destination, I found Centre Historique d’Annecy picturesque. Stone bridges arch across canals. Blue, red, and yellow flowers cascade from rails along canals. Swans glide and mallards paddle translucent green canal waters. Canals are lined with restaurant awnings and tables. Every restaurant seat in Annecy has a pleasing view. And because so many tourists linger by the canals, your café seat is perfect for people-watching. Being a flâneur (or in my case, flâneuse) is a very French pastime. With no ambitious agenda for my week here, I enjoyed relaxing for a time every day in such scenic surroundings. Here are some photos.*
*The most vibrant photos here were edited by my husband Robert.