Our first glimpse of the French Alps came in Annecy, France this past weekend. Settled from the times of Romans, Annecy is an adorable French town close to the Swiss border that has been called the Venice of the Alps. Perched alongisde Lake Annecy, we stayed in possibly the most incredible hotel room ever with our balcony overlooking the lake and perfectly snow-capped Alps.
There were so many ways to explore the town, including a hike up to the basilica overlooking the lake and a walk around the 12th century chateau perched in the town center. We also awed at the town’s most photographed sight – Palais de l’Isle, a 12th century stone building in the middle of the river that has been a residence, courthouse, mint and prison throughout history. When the day became warm, we hopped on a boat tour of the lake, enjoying the castles dotting the landscape and a closer view of the Alps.
As usual, we were all about experiencing the local food and wine. We indulged in a fancy French dinner (the more Corey learns German, the less she remembers French!), complete with foie gras, steak frites and local cheeses. On Sunday morning, we couldn’t resist the most delicious crepe with coconut ice cream and warm chocolate sauce.
Rain started to fall on Sunday, but we had the perfect plan to go visit the nearby Gorges du Fier. Considered a natural wonder of the region, the river Fier has eroded the Earth spectacularly for millions of years. We walked through platforms bolted into the rocks, watching the river rush below with such intensity and force. There was a measuring stick showing how high the river has reached in various points in history, almost at the top of the gorge.
Just a minute from the gorge, we pulled over to admire Castle Montrottier and ended up taking a tour of the medieval castle full of historical weapons and art.
We now understand all of the cliché phrases being thrown around about this town- Venice of the Alps & Pearl of France it was!