Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our Last Day in Annecy

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: April 23, 2014

It was our last day in Annecy. I wasn't at all sure that I was ready to leave this idyllic locale. It was just so beautiful and interesting, not to mention delicious! Of course, we had to pay a visit to our favorite little bakery just around the corner. Along with our morning pastries and coffee, we purchased a freshly baked baguette for our evening picnic.

It was time for us to explore the ancient Palais d'Isle, which had already appeared in many of our photos. It is, after all, one of the most photographed sights in Annecy. This 12th century structure was once a palace, and then a courthouse, a mint, and a prison. It is not grand or ornate, but still possesses a certain allure. The palace now houses a museum, and that was where we headed. 

Palais d'Isle, Annecy, France

Inside, we found intriguing displays and old prison cells. The medieval cells were not as gruesome and frightening as I had expected, though I couldn't imagine what it must have been like to be imprisoned within those thick, cold stone walls. The Palais sits on a triangular islet in the middle of the Canal du Thiou; it must have always been damp and cold inside. There is a tiny courtyard attached to the building. I wondered if prisoners were allowed outside for a breath of fresh air now and then. 

Thick stone walls and iron bars.

Equipment used for minting coins.

The courtyard of Palais d'Isle.

When we left the Palais d'Isle and were once again out in the balmy air, we located a small market where we purchased goodies for our evening picnic. We went back to the hotel for a rest and to catch up on email, and then set out for the park near Lake Annecy. Jardins de l'Europe is a huge and beautiful park beside the sparkling turquoise lake. There are many gorgeous flowers, fountains, statuary, and the looming Alps reflected in the water. 

 Darcy in the Gardens of Europe, Annecy, France.

 What an incredible view!

We spread our picnic upon an old beach towel beneath the shade of a chestnut tree. The three of us gazed at the incredible scenery as we munched our way through tapenade, pork rillettes, duck mousse, a baguette, cheese, sausage, chips, pistachios, fresh strawberries and a Tropezienne. I enjoyed a bottle of Pecheresse, my favorite peach beer. It was a relaxing and wonderful meal. We lingered until twilight fell, and then made our way back to the hotel.

 Our picnic in the park.

 Another beautiful view.

Au revoir, Annecy! I'll return someday.

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