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.
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.
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.