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Written on: Friday May 4th, 2007

A journal entry from: Rouen Exchange

Hannah, Celeste and I spent our last travel weekend by visiting the gorgeous town of Annecy.  It is located near the Swiss-France border, not to far south of Geneva.  I had never heard of this place before Celeste mentioned it.  She had been lucky enough to visit there a few years ago when she went on a 6 week tour of Europe with her high school.  Because of this, Celeste didn?t book with Hannah and I at first.  However, she loved the place so much she decided to go back.  As a result, her train got into Annecy earlier than ours and she was leaving earlier on the Sunday. 

When originally looking into accommodation, we found that the hostels were all booked up.  I turned to a France tour book and was able to find a hotel that had a room for three.  I e-mailed and they got back to us saying that there was still a room available and it was only 37 Euro for all of us?too good to be true.  Closer to the date of the trip, I went looking for the e-mail to print out as confirmation only to find I must have deleted it.  Then I had to try and remember the name and gave Celeste the address.  That Friday, when she had arrived and I was in Paris, I got a call saying the hotel didn?t have a reservation for us. I talked to the hotel person for a bit and found out they did still have a room for that night (for 60 euros) but were booked up for the Saturday evening.  

Hannah and I arrived at 10:30 that night and Celeste met us at the train station to show us where the hotel was.  The room was nothing special but we had our own shower and toilet as well as a tv.  That night I feel asleep to Sex and the City in French.

Saturday morning we decided the first thing to do was take care of our accommodations.  Before leaving the hotel, we asked again whether they had any rooms (even only one bed was fine with us) and it turned out they did have vacancy?they put us right back in the room we had been the night before.  I?m not sure what was up with this family run place but they didn?t seem that organized.  After settling that, we left for the lake.  Lac Annecy is said to be the cleanest in Europe and I believe that after seeing it.  It was the perfect setting with the clear green-blue lake at the base of the mountains.  We rented a paddle boat and went out to the middle of the lake.  The weather was gorgeous and I got in some sunbathing.  There are canals that run throughout the old town and the streets were lined with cafes, restaurants, ice cream places and little shops.  We spent time sitting by the lake and then went to rent a motor boat.  We were all set to go when they remembered that we needed a 1000 euro deposit. None of us had cheques or that amount of cash and they wouldn?t even take my passport as security so that dream died fast.  For dinner we tried Tartiflette (sliced potatoes, lardoons, onion and roblechon cheese ? one of my favourites).  After, I got an ice cream cone that came with free whipped cream and then we went to a creperie for Celeste?s and Hannah?s dessert.  While we were there a gypsy type woman who was selling roses set one down on our table.  We told her we didn?t want one but found out it was actually from some guy at another table who had a crush on Hannah. He came over a little later and Hannah was smart enough to say she spoke no French.  It was sad how bad his English was.  Eventually he went away.  Since we didn?t really want the rose, we thought this might be the only time to rip on up and it was quite satisfying (although that kind of sounds strange now).  Later Hannah threw it into a canal in a very dramatic way.   After crepes, I found out the place next door had chocolate and banana panini?s so Celeste and I shared one.  It was good but a bit to bready for me.

Sunday morning, Celeste left while Hannah and I were still in bed.  When we finally got moving, we first went to a bakery that we had gone to the day before.  It had the hugest maxi croissants we had ever seen and Celeste and I shared a maxi pain au chocolat.  It wasn?t as tasty as some croissants I?ve had but I needed to try it, if only to get my picture with it. Hannah wanted one of the maxi donuts filled with nutella.  Annecy had a great morning market with lots of produce, as well as clothes, sunglasses, etc.  We also happened to be lucky enough that a marathon was taking place.  It is probably the most beautiful marathon to be in.  I can only imagine what the scenery would be like putting in your 42km around this lake.  After some more chilling by the lake, it was time to get to the train station for our 4 hour train back to Paris.

Now my only trip left is one on my own (well, with a tour group) to Eastern Europe.