Exploring a Quintessential French Village: Annecy

Tunnel under Thiou River Annecy FranceThe day before leaving France, we were treated to a tour of Annecy, Annecy Francean incredibly beautiful Alpine commune in Haute Savoie (southeastern France)Annecy. Venice of the Alps known as “The Venice of France,” a title well deserved, Thiou River in Annecy, Francebecause the town is laced with canals from the Thiou River.Thiou River in Annecy, France 3Annecy is also adorned with colorful flower boxes, Thiou River in Annecy, France 2lined with pastel boutiques and cafes, Fabulous French Pasteries in Annecy Franceand alive with the tantalizing aromas Chocolate Shop in Annecythat have made the French famous for their cuisine. French Alps around Annecy Annecy is surrounded by mountains, Lake Annecy Jardins de l'Europe and the village grew up beside Lake Annecy some 3,100 BC, At The Palais de l'Isle and Thiou river. Annecy Francejpgalthough the present centerpiece of Old Town is the Palais de l’Isle, Palais de l'Isle on Thiou river in Annecy Francethe former residence of Annecy’s lords that dates back to the twelfth century. Shannon enjoying one of the world's best chocolate croissants at Aux Cygnes Gourmands. Annecy FranceOur tour began with a breakfast of possibly the most buttery,
flaky chocolate croissants in the world.Croissants at Aux Cygnes Gourmands. Annecy France (Mason, whom I affectionately dubbed “Fearless Leader,” adores them!) Annecy Streets lined with shops and cafesFrom there we spent the morning meandering along the streets, Dress Shop in Annecy Francetaking in the ambiance and enjoying the sights and culture of Alpine France, Medieval Shops in Annecy Francealthough we did do a little souvenir and gift shopping, Souvenir Shoppingespecially Zach, who was trying to find a French key chain for his girlfriend. City Jail in AnnecyWe also saw some of the best known sites, like the city jail Interior of church in Annecy Franceand several beautiful churches.Annecy Cathedral Not all of them were open that day, but the Annecy Cathedral was.Sanctuary of Annecy Cathedral I love how many of the historic Christian churches are open to the public.  Altar in Annecy CathedralWhat a sanctuary from the heat and bustle of the day…
the perfect spot to come apart for a few minutes of prayer and meditation. Sweet and savory crepes for sale Annecy FranceNeither Fearless Leader nor our host thought our Tour de France Menu of Crêperie Annecy Francewould be complete without trying one of France’s famous sweet or savory crêpes. Nutella. A crepe staple! Annecy France(If you’ve never had hazelnut/chocolate “Nutella”…try it sometime!) Happy Crêpe AquisitionsWe each got a “to die for it’s so good” crêpe Parc Charles Busson Annecy Franceand headed for Parc (“Park”) Charles Busson to relax and enjoy our picnic lunch.Picture of a Panoramic Photo of AnnecyThe park borders Lake Annecy, which is the 3rd largest lake in France.* Lake AnnecyFed by glacial river runoff into the lake and water bubbling up via the Boubioz
(which is 82-meters below the surface), it’s considered Europe’s cleanest lake. Water Sports on Lake AnnecyLake Annecy is a popular tourist destination for water sports and swimming. Pont des AmoursAfter our picnic, we meandered across the Pont des Amours (Bridge of Love), Pont des Amours from Thiou River Canalstopped to enjoy a free concert in the park, and strolled along the Thiou Canal. Lake Annecy Italian GelatoBy late afternoon it was really hot out, and we had a long drive ahead,Sharing Pastries so we stopped for a smackeral of something to sustain us until home and supper.Windowboxes in AnnecyWhat an incredible contrast to the squalor and poverty endured by the refugees.Canal through Annecy FranceI think we all struggled with “survivor guilt.” (I know Zach and I did.) Canals in Annecy. The Venice of FranceIs it “okay” to be so happy when millions—billions—of people aren’t???
Perhaps the answer is to be charitable but also enjoy the life God’s given you:

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
(Micah 6:8)

By the end of our trip, we felt bonded—a bit like soldiers coming home from war— and I thought, “Yes, because we are soldiers, but for the Prince of Peace.”

“Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follow’r of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His name?

“Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

“Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord;
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.”
(—Isaac Watts, 1721)

(*All the pictures are mine, although the panorama of Lake Annecy in the winter is a photo I took of a picture outside one of the shops.)