France / Annecy

Ten years ago, I published a teen-lit (teenage version of a chicklit) that was shortlisted in a national writing competition. To be honest I’m now a bit fuzzy about the storyline, but clearly I remember that the heroine took a sojourn to Annecy. How did a teenager in Jakarta conjured a world so far away from her own and sold it as a finalist in a national competition, I have no idea. But Goodreads documents the reviews. My point though was, I knew I loved Annecy even before I  set my eyes on it.

But then who doesn’t?

We ventured to Annecy via Geneva. It was a short 2 hours journey, barring the heavy traffic during peak hours. The city itself was really small so there wasn’t a lot of touristy activities, apart from enjoying this utterly beautiful life! You know how wonderful it feels when you’re at your happiest? Well I was totally at my happiest there.

My brother and I spent 5 days including a weekend. I didn’t bother with an itinerary because that wasn’t necessary. Exploring the town takes about 2 hours by foot. Which is amazing, like Kinder Egg. You find surprises at every opening, in a very compact size.

One of the highlights of the trip was cycling around the Annecy Lake. We embraced the mountains around the lake and cycled for 40+ km through Sevrier, Saint Josoz, Duingt, Dossard, Taillores and Menthon-Saint-Bernard. Curiously this path was taken by tour de france with average finish time of 1 hour. It was 5 hours for us…

This is also a popular site for paragliding because the landscape is just breathtaking!

We rented our bikes from Velonecy, which is just next to the Gare of Annecy. The rates are reasonable at about 20€. Just remember to bring your passport and deposit of 250€ per bicycle. We didn’t use our credit card, so it was surreal to hand a wad of euros for our bicycles.

The small town is popular for the old quarter, called Annecy-le-vieux. This part of town is famous for its narrow stone cobbled streets and weekend markets. For architecture buffs, you’ll be happy marvelling medieval architecture here. There are also many churches, old buildings and a castle to see.

Though small, Annecy is one of my favourite places in the world – probably takes third after Taiwan and Vancouver. Now that our friends are transplanting there, I’m looking forward to visit more often!

If you wanna find out more about the famous sites at Annecy, just toggle Tripadvisor or GPSMyCity.


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