Wednesday, January 30, 2008

When in France ...

When in France, everything Google is in French. Grrr. Trying to publish our little mini blog with photos, etc., is not as easy as you would think. So before I publish a big long post, I am going to do a test run.
OK, that worked. But I can't seem to add photos to the other day's post. We'll see if we can add some today.

Yesterday we woke up early and had a little breakfast and then headed off on our day's adventures. We took the back roads back to the motorway so that we could pick up some wood pellets for Duncan. After a scenic drive down the valley, through one quaint French farming village after another, we found the lumber yard and loaded up the little Subaru Impreza with five bags of energy-efficient pellets for Duncan's heater.

Next off to Annecy for some site-seeing. Annecy is a beautiful, small city situated on a lake (don't know the name). When we arrived, the glassy lake was covered in a low fog, giving everything a smoky, soft, hazy look. Almost like a pastel painting. Even the swans gliding silently on the lake looked like pieces of art.

We went for a walk along the beachfront to a point where, in the summer, everyone swims and jumps off diving boards, etc. Looked great! Would love to go back in summer. The water was crystal clear, and everything was so clean. Not even duck or swan feathers could be seen floating on the water's surface. Immaculate!

We then followed the river canal into the old town center. The canal winds between ancient buildings on either side. Looming overhead was a fortified chateau. Within the cobblestoned alleys, farmers and other vendors had set up their stalls, selling endive, spinach, beets, potatoes, scarves, rugs, and lots of cheese and sausages. We stopped at a little storefront and bought amazingly delicious sandwiches on that GREAT French bread with that GREAT French cheese. I just ate here in Samoens and still the memories of yesterday's sandwich are making my mouth water.

We continued to amble through the city, occasionally ducking around a corner and finding ourselves in a cobblestoned square with no way out but the way we came in. I couldn't help but wonder at the number of feet that had walked the same cobblestones for hundreds of years.

But back to reality ... After Mark bought a French SIM card for his phone, we had the extremely unenviable task of trying to find a department store so that we could buy "knickers" (bras and panties) for Willy's friend's wife for her birthday. We had sketchy and incomplete personal information, at best. We rummaged through the racks looking for the right size and trying to make sure it all matched and that we had all the right styles. Willy's patience was wearing thing, as was my own. Our leisurely morning was turning into a mad dash for underwear as we realized we needed to get to Geneva to pick up Willy's friend Christine in less than an hour. (Time management is not our strong point when on holiday!) So I grabbed matching this and that and threw it all at Willy to buy.

We left H&M department store disgruntled and discouraged. But walking back along the glimmering lake soon wiped away our scowls. We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Once Christine and her luggage had arrived, we made our way into the old part of Geneva, where Willy had lived years ago. After a quick beer at an outdoor cafe, we walked through the city and admired the old buildings and fancy shmancy cars and couldn't even begin to fathom the amount of money in that city. As we looked around, we would occasionally catch a brief view of the huge jet fountain (originally named the Jet d'eau (jet of water) fountain in Lake Geneva. Our goal was to get to the other side of the lake so we could look back at the city and see the fountain against the setting sun. But, alas, as we got to the other side, someone turned off the fountain. The sunset was still beautiful, and in all honesty, the jet d'eau just looked like someone had left a massively huge fire hydrant running in the middle of the lake, so no big loss.

We finally made our way back to the car, stopping for another quick drink (this time a chocolat) at an overpriced smokey cafe (though Willy tells us it was regular price for Geneva). On our way back to Samoens, we stopped in Carrefour (France's version of a SuperTarget?) for dinner and breakfast groceries. Did I mention that the wine is SO inexpensive here, yay!

Back to Katherine's for a pasta dinner and an early night after our day of walking and seeing.


1 comment:

A. Karen said...

Keep these stories coming. I'm luvin' it.