I've been MIA the past few weeks as we've had friends and family visiting us in gorgeous Annecy. It's been a busy, fun and often magical time. Aside from popping my head out of Medieval castle turrets (at the Chateau Montrottier near Annecy), here's what I've been up to of late (looking forward to slowly catching up with all of you too):
I've had a lovely little reunion with my longtime cat babies, Dag and Dinky, from whom I've been separated about six months. They made the journey from Canada in the plane's cabin with my fam and weathered the stress pretty well thanks to some natural calming pills. Now they're settling into their new French home!
I've basked in the middle of Lac Annecy in a rented boat. Lac Annecy is a spring-fed (and mountain-fed) lake that's super clear and clean. I wonder how much a second-hand boat would cost? All I want to do now is hang out on the lake. I'm wearing a swimsuit bought on sale at Monoprix, a French department store, and a hat picked up in the Old Town.
I've also explored a river gorge (Gorges di Fier) sporting a dress I found at the Annecy market for 8 Euros - I bought FIVE dresses from the same vendor for the same price. Lesson learned: look for rips and tears along the seams as none are finished that well - hopefully they won't fall off me as I wear them!
I've watched an amazing 70-minute firework display unfurl over Lac Annecy for its annual Fete du Lac on August 4th, an event that's been happening since Napoleon's time. It was set to music and was as awe-inspiring as the lake and the mountains....
Aside from visiting with and touring around the area with family, I also had the chance to catch up with a Canadian gal pal I've known since I was a little girl. We went out every night and toured Annecy's sights my day - and also treated ourselves to French Champagne (can be pricey but a 20 Euros bottle, the cheapest in the store, was recommended to us by a local and it was just fine), meringues and raspberry pastries. Decadence!
We toured Annecy's famous prison, which has been around since 1325 and perhaps even earlier and has served various functions over time, including an old-folks' home and a mint. Today it is part art gallery, part museum.
It was a cool day so we went to the Chateau in Annecy, another Medieval gem which overlooks the lake and entire town and houses an avante-garde art museum as well as a museum about the lakes in the region.
I'm wearing my fave 7 for all Mankind jeans found in a UK charity shop, an American Apparel "Flashdance" sweatshirt, a thrifted scarf and pendant and my fave NEW shoes/sandals bought for half off in Annecy (loved them so much I bought a grey pair too, for shame!). I've been wearing second-hand shoes for so long that it felt good to indulge in some new ones, which of course have that chic French look to them.
This castle was so amazing. I wish they had more information on how people lived in these mammoth places.
We went back the next day to finish touring the castle and stood in fireplaces big enough to be small rooms by today's standards. I'm wearing espadrilles thrifted in Canada and my recent Etsy purchase, a lovely vintage Ikat purse. Orange looks crappy on me so I tend to be drawn to pumpkin-hued accessories.
We marveled over drawings on the castle walls (a partially-obscured gentleman wearing a feather-plumed hat and a lady walking behind him), which no one could tell us about, alas.
We also were astonished to see the bones of "sirens du Lac", or mermaids, found in Lac Annecy, and preserved under glass. There were extensive photos of the excavation site as well. I still need to investigate the full story here as the placards were all in French and we couldn't understand the explanation, other than that the bones were found in the lake exactly like this. Mmm.
This is the view from the front of the castle, which is accessible to the public only if you pay the few Euros admission. It's well worth it, if only to gasp at the lake and the rest of Annecy sprawling out from under the castle. I plan on coming back often. Wonder if they have a rate for locals who want to visit all the time?
I'm wearing: a vintage Tudor rose pendant by English maked "Miracle", thrifted at a Canadian Goodwill for a few bucks. Dress is a cheapie new one picked up in a tourist shop in the Old Town - perfect for the easy breezy summer style of Annecy!