November 6, 2007: Updated Thônes
Shirley and I went to France in August and September 2007. Shirley did all the planning as usual. This web site will document our trip as we make it, so it is being built from France. The text and photographs will be either Steve's or Shirley's.
(This site has about 500 photos on 58 pages. If that's too daunting for you, please click here to go to an abbreviated site with only 67 photos on 7 pages.)
We flew from Boston to Paris where we picked up a Renault Kangoo on a lease buy back. Apparently there is a large tax on new cars in France but if the car is more than 28 days old, the tax disappears. The car companies therefore lease a brand new car for a period of 28 days or more then buy the car back and resell it without the tax. Here's a photo of the little van:
We drove from Paris to Annecy with a few stops in between. We continued through Annecy to Veyrier du Lac, just a few miles beyond Annecy where our first rented condo is.
Saturday, August 4, was a festival in Annecy which included fireworks that we could see from our balcony in Veyrier du Lac.
Here are two views from our balcony in Veyrier du Lac. The first is early morning when the sun is lighting up the far shore but we are still in shadow. The second is around noon when both sides of the lake are well lit.
The next few days we explored the environs of Lake Annecy. We drove to Thônes, enjoying the scenery along the way, but didn't spend much time in Thônes. Another day. We visited the old city of Annecy twice, once during market day. We drove up the steep and winding road to Col de la Forclaz for a great view of the lake. It was cloudy that day so we will go back when Natalie, Paul and Linda are here. We also have been to Talloires, twice so far.
New August 16:
We moved from Veyrier du Lac to Talloires Saturday. We are on the top floor and our balcony is in in the closest half of the furthest peak.
Two views from the balcony at sunrise and sunset:
We rode the bateaux Omnibus around the lake Sunday, a little shuttle boat that stops at each village around the lake to take on or let off passengers. The entire time around the lake is about two hours. On Monday, we drove to the Fier Gorge in Lovagny, just southwest of Annecy. We took lots of photos in and around Talloires and lots of photos of people. Here are photos for you wooden boat lovers. And more photos for you flower lovers. And a few photos for lovers of lace curtains.
New August 20:
We drove to Geneva Thursday to pick up Natalie. She stayed with us for our last two days in Talloires and moved with us back to Veyrier du Lac. During our move we visited the beautiful Chateau de Menthon. On Sunday we took Natalie on a trip around the lake on Le Bateau Omnibus but made a big mistake. We took a later boat and that got us to Annecy after the last boat left Annecy. So we were stranded. Steve walked from Annecy to Veyrier, a 75 minute walk, retrieved our car, and rescued Shirley and Natalie, who spent the time walking along Annecy's beautiful waterfront and visiting the European and Imperial Gardens.
Here are some photos for those very few of you interested in the construction of tile roofs in the French Alps.
New August 27:
We left Natalie at home Monday and picked up Paul and Linda at the Geneva airport. It was a quiet, rainy day Tuesday but Wednesday was bright and sunny and a perfect day to drive up to Col de la Forclaz. On the way back, we visit Thônes. We don't quite know how it happened, but we then drove Natalie to Geneva a day early. After we dropped Natalie off, we had an interesting drive to downtown Geneva. Thursday, when we should have been taking Natalie back to Geneva, we took the bateau omnibus around the lake, leaving early enough to be able to return to Veyrier du Lac.
Friday we drove up to the Chateau de Menthon and Paul and Linda took the tour we took earlier. Unfortunately, the guides are in period costumes only during the weekend. We started the walk around the chateau but didn't know the path and postponed it for another day.
Sunday we take Paul and Linda back to Geneva for their flight to Rome. Monday Shirley and I decide to try and take each of the easy and fairly easy walks in a book of walks we just purchased. We start with a walk in the Bout du Lac Nature Reserve.
I've accumulated a few photos of little details.
New September 6:
are our neighbors, Dominic and Christiana:
They have befriended us and we have invited each other over for cocktails. On Saturday, they invited us to lunch at the Favres' Restaurant in Le Grand Bornand. Christiana skis with Mme. Favre in Le Grand Bornand. On the way, we drove over the Col des Aravis to get a great view of Mont Blanc. Unfortunately, Mont Blanc was shrouded in clouds so we couldn't see it. Therefore, after lunch, we went to Combloux, which also has a great view of Mont Blanc.
On Sunday, Steve went out with his camera and took lots of photos of Annecy.
On Monday, Shirley's knee met its match with our walk up Mount Veyrier. Later we picked up Mario and Laurel at the Annecy train station. They had bad instructions for their change of trains in Lyon and were late, tired, and cranky.
Wednesday we drove through Thônes up to Col de la Forclaz to watch the deltas (hang gliders) and parapentes take off and then enjoyed a lunch at Le Princaz. We walked along the shore in Annecy that evening.
New September 23:
We were back at the Chateau de Menthon Friday afternoon and Mario and Steve did a little part of the walk around the chateau. Saturday was spent on the road. We drove to Orly airport to drop off the car with a lunch break at Auberge de La Beursaudiere in Nitry, where we had had lunch five weeks before. Cabs from Orly to our respective apartments. Our apartment is in a very good location, just two blocks from Notre Dame, but the view was of an air shaft. We climbed two flights to a tiny studio apartment that was allegedly 250 square feet. It seemed much smaller.
We met Laurel and Mario in front of Notre Dame Sunday morning and Mario and Shirley attended most of the service to hear the Gregorian music. Laurel and I waited outside and watched the people. We visited La Sainte Chapelle and then the Louvre, wandering along the Seine on the way. Quite a day.
We walked through the Jardin du Palais Royal on Monday, attended a concert at La Sainte Chapelle where we heard two different versions of Vivaldi's Four seasons plus Pachelbel's Canon. Everything was played at warp speed. There were a few stops at cafes, something that must be done in Paris. Finally we toured the Seine by boat at night.
Tuesday was spent getting tickets to and going to the opera Capriccio at the Palais Garnier with plenty of cafe time.
Then we spent the day Thursday getting ourselves to Boston where Courtland and Elisa were waiting and the DoubleTree treated us like royalty. A very welcome welcoming.