After Castellane we needed to start working our way back northwards. I had read really good things about Annecy, so we decided to go there but had to break the journey up. The next stop we identified was at Gap and we decided to stay on a campsite and use their electricity to charge all our equipment. The ACSI site we stayed on was very quiet, apart from the noisy peacocks that were roaming about! We also managed to fill up with LPG ready for further off grid stopovers and cooking. The weather was gorgeous, so we had an extra day just soaking up the sun. We did not go into Gap itself.
Moving on from Gap took us through amazing scenery just as stunning as the journey from Castellane to Gap. By now we were starting to get view overload!
Le Bourget du Lac
As we wandered towards Annecy we came upon another lovely lake and stopped there for a couple of days. We stopped on an aire that was outside the gates of a lakeside campsite. The advantage was that we could use their facilities. It was a short walk to the lake in one direction and to the village in the other. The lake was very popular and had a beach with facilities for swimmers and there were also boaters and kite surfers on the main lake. As the sun was shining brightly, it was a very busy place.
We drove through Annecy on our way to the campsite. As we rounded a bend and saw the bright turquoise of the lake, we really thought we must have overshot and arrived in Switzerland. Somehow, we had not expected it to be so beautiful. After a couple of disappointments, we arrived at a lovely family run campsite, just a stones throw from the lake and a 15 minute walk from a bus stop. The site was in Sevrier, just 7 kms from Annecy town.
The next day we caught the bus and armed with the tourist trail map from the campsite reception, we made sure we saw all that interested us.
Annecy can date itself to the Neolithic period as there have been significant remains of lakeside villages uncovered that testify to human occupation from that time. From then on there have been many changes that have ensured it remained an important settlement. In the 21st century, Annecy presents itself, in the magnificent setting of its mountains, its lake and its old quarters, as a multi-faceted town which captivates its visitors. It is also undergoing strong population and economic growth whilst maintaining its tourist appeal. It captivated us and the thousands of other tourists that were clogging up the streets!
The first day we concentrated on the lake and the canals which also took us through the old town streets. We had lunch sitting in one of the main streets and enjoyed the lively atmosphere. The walk around the park side of the lake was beautiful with that bright turquoise water glinting in the sunlight. There was plenty of people watching to satisfy me. We also managed to visit a couple of churches along the way and Palais De L’ile.
The next day we went back to visit the chateau. The journey in took a lot longer as there was a triathlon taking place and the police were holding up the traffic as the cyclists flowed through. The bus driver let us all get off near to the town as it was quicker to walk the rest of the way. The chateau overlooks the town and the lake and houses some interesting exhibitions. The best part was the views over the town.
This is another area of France that was new to us and that we would gladly visit again. It would be worth spending more time here and, if we can source a bike for Clyde that he can ride with his unbending leg, we can explore some of the many bike trails.