Thursday, 8 September 2011

The fun continues


From the off it was obvious that the day was going to be a scorcher, not a cloud in the sky to block the sun, so what better way to spend the time than laze around the lac. Pool and caravan soaking in the rays.  I even pluck up courage to actually go into the lac. Our   friendly Dutch neighbours had very kindly warned us about “ duck fleas” in the water as their friend had just returned from the doctor after coming out in large welts……half an hour of frantic googling later I discover it wasn’t actually duck fleas but larvae that burrow into your skin!!

Id had a bad case of May fly bites earlier in the year and as mossies and the like also make a bee line for my succulent flesh I was adamant I wasn’t going to set another toe in the water. However seeing everyone else, including our warning neighbours frolic in the water without a worry, I decided that I was just too hot to care and went for a swim. I then spent the next couple of hours worrying that every little tickle or itch was a larvae burrowing…….i needn’t of worried thankfully as I write this a few days  and lots of dips later I feel assured that “duck fleas” aren’t really anything to worry about at Lac Bleu…….phew!

The pool appears to never be crowded, or at least late afternoon when, we choose to go up for a refreshing dip( its unheated), you can usually find an unoccupied sun lounger and they are nice woven ones too not the horrible plastic ones. The pool is in three sections the usual small rectangle for swimming, with a Jacuzzi, a middle section which is shallow and has fun animals squirting water for the children, then the last section which is like a lazy river, this seems the most popular part. There is also a small arcade room with football table along side but im yet to see anyone actually in it. As the pool is right at the back of the site, you can hear some road noise, now I live in a quiet village with very little traffic and when I sit out at home the occasional car annoys me, here as it’s a sort of low continuous hum it doesn’t seem so annoying and certainly doesn’t spoil the atmosphere of screaming, splashing and laughter that you get around a pool. The pool is open 10 to 7 and although unsupervised does not get unruly.

We decided to go into Annecy for the evening, we had been here three days already and were eager to see what everyone raved about. Traffic was bad heading into town (7 pm) but not as bad as the traffic coming out! Even so half and hour later  we were safely parked in the Hotel de Ville car park, its an underground car park and so has a height restriction, but wow what a car park! Being a country bumpkin I don’t go to flash places very often but this classical music playing carpark was something else, with its glass lifts that you swiped your car park ticket on to open…….like I say I don’t get out very often,lol.

My awe was soon superseded by the first glimpses of Annecy old town, what an amazing sight, my jaw dropped at its beauty though I couldn’t help but feel I was in a themed area of Disney. We wandered up and down the old streets, past the diners enjoying their evening meals, and in and out of the predictable trinket shops. Hearing music we wandered through an alley way and came across a band playing outside a bar, they were very good so stayed for a while as they belted out covers of all the old classics, that get you singing along and your toes tapping. The light was going and the illuminated bar signs and fairy lights lit the streets, and reflected prettily in the water. Finally succumbing to one of the delicious looking ice creams, we stopped here and there to watch various buskers as we wandered back through the maze of alleys  and streets back to the beginning, where again we stopped to admire the skill of the street artists. The evening was particularly hot and the heat was fairly intense in the enclosed old town so we wandered over to the port and walked through the gardens where we stopped to watch all the twinkling lights around the lake, it was all very romantic. Annecy is certainly a beautiful special place and we plan to come back during the day to take in the sights properly.


I wont go into any great detail suffice to say a lazy day spent down at the lac, ( I don’t think I will ever tire of the view). Followed by a refreshing dip in the pool before a cadac cooked tea and bottle of red. Im sure this will be the very enjoyable pattern for most of the holiday.


With supplies low and the thought of maybe purchasing some sort of boat we head off early to Albertiville where we hear there is a Decathlon. Yes we find a Decathlon but disappointingly, but probably wallet savingly they don’t sell any boats. So we go onto the adjacent supermarket and stock up on lots of cheap wine, chocolate and those very addictive craquantes crisps, plus a bit of salad and fruit to show the cashier that we aren’t just alcoholic, chocolate, crisp eaters!!

Boatless, we spend the afternoon at the lac, and pool. Yet another day in paradise over, with only a week left sad thoughts of going home and back to work start to creep in, pushing these to the backs of our mind we plan the action for tomorrow and decide a day into Annecy on the pleasure boat that circles the Lac is a good plan.


We catch the first bateaux bus of the day from Doussard at 10.30  and is a very reasonable 16.20 euros each for a return trip. It’s a pleasant hour long journey up the west side of the lake and takes in various stops along the way. You get a totally different perspective from the lake, having our own beach we haven’t bothered getting out and seeing all the public beaches, they vary in size from a thin strip of grass to bigger sandy beaches with diving boards and floating pontoons, all are very busy. Loyally and with a certain amount of smugness we decide ours is the best,  its flat, has good access to the  water and best of all only 30 steps away from our caravan so no long trudges or drives to a beach for us. Soon we arrive in Annecy and following the crowds we walk over to the old town hoping to spot some signs for the tourist information office. We had wandered aimlessly the other evening but today didn’t want to miss out on anything so a map and guide was essential. With no office in sight we easily pick up the signs for the chateaux so start the walk up the Ramp du Chateaux, thankfully this ramp wasn’t too long and we  were soon entering into a large courtyard on the wall was a sign showing all the battles that the Annecy Regiment had fought in before they were disbanded in 1922. You couldn’t help but think of all those marching boots that must have walked across the cobbles  just as we were.  Looking over the outer wall of the chateaux, you got a view over all the rooftops of the town, down to the port where we could just see the boat we had come in on start pulling off on its return journey. We decided against paying to go into the museum (5euro) as it appeared to be mostly art and natural history displays rather than how life was lived in the chateaux and dingy dungeons type of tour. We descended a different way back into the town down steps and through the tiniest of allies that led us past the dingy backs of all the immaculately fronted buildings. I no longer thought of the town as a Disney theme park after seeing washing hanging from windows along with the blare of a tv it was amazing to think that yes people did really live in all this magnificent hustle and bustle and  infact people had  done so, for hundreds of years though I should imagine it was a much dirtier, crowded, smellier and much less happier existence for those poor people.

Our paths took us past the prison and again feel that the cost of entrance is unnecessary, so following our noses around the old town we end up at the cathedral. The interior was beautiful with full ceiling murals’, statues and pretty stained glass windows. It was sad to see the decay taking hold in the back corner and the frighteningly long cracks in both side walls. We exit the cathedral and walk around the side where we sit in the shade on the wall of a bridge and eat our late lunch admiring the views along the canal. Fed and watered our paths now take us to the newer part of the town past a multitude of modern shops. Uninterested in such shopping we decide to head back towards the gardens to sit and rest awhile and enjoy the lac view and stumble upon the Tourist info office, we pick up a belated but useful map and guide and find a shady bench in the gardens to look at them. The heat was intense by this stage, it certainly seemed to be one of the hottest days so far, and we were missing our cooling dips. We wandered around the lac, which was a colourful mass of bobbing pedeloes, amazed to see that although seemingly out deep the people jumping off them were only waist deep. We were sorely tempted to hire a power boat as they were much more reasonably priced (50 euro) than at the campsite, but being such a hot day and not being appropriately dressed for an hours posing and sunbathing aboard we decide against it. Wandering back to the old town we stop of for an ice cream and again mill around soaking in the atmosphere, sights and sounds of the old town. To top of the day we each purchase a straw hat to shade us on the return 4 o’clock boat. The views, stops and commentary for the east side of the lake was much more interesting,  pointing out different mountains, houses and exclusive restaurants….apparently English royalty and Winston Churchill  have enjoyed the delights of  a certain restaurant in Tallories! Soon our campsite was back in view and we were trudging back down the road. The walk to the boat stop does involve a 10 minute walk along the busy road, but most of it is pathed or behind barriers and is certainly doable, hot and dehydrated we need half an hours recovery in the small amount of shade to be found on our pitch and are shocked to see the thermometer has hit 40 degrees C! A well deserved dip in the pool ends the tiring hot day, its not long after eating that we decide an early night is needed.