Surviving the Heat Wave in Lake Annecy
As most of you already know, we made the decision to leave hot and humid Thailand to travel Europe for the summer as we were ready for a new environment and, most importantly, better weather. Last summer, we had amazing weather during our 3 week trek through Europe and we were yearning for a taste of that again. Especially after being in Thailand during its hottest months (March – May), and then surviving a month of Florida’s summer. But wouldn’t you know, the week we arrived to our house sit in the French Alps, a terrible heatwave came sweeping across western Europe shattering heat records in France. In fact, the Eiffel Tower had its second highest reading (39.7 degrees Celsius/103.5 degrees Fahrenheit) dating back to 1873!
So when the time came for our break between house sits, we decided to book it to Lake Annecy, a more popular lake not far from where we were staying that claimed to be the cleanest lake in Europe. After all, sightseeing in a city just didn’t sound like fun during a heatwave. The only way to get through it was in a bikini.
Annecy is also known as the “Venice of the Alps”, and with its cobbled streets, winding canals and colorful medieval architecture I can totally see why. Wandering through the old town had me feeling as though I’d stepped into a storybook. It’s an enchanting place, and although its pretty touristic, you can’t help but fall in love with it. We did manage to spend some of our time strolling through the charming alleyways, perusing the boutique shops, and indulging in our fair share of gelato since everyone else was doing it. But with the intense heat weighing on us, shopping just wasn’t on our list of priorities. The lake was the only place we wanted to be…
So for 2 of our 3 days in Annecy, we packed a lunch and some beer and headed for the lake. The beach itself was so packed I don’t think we could have squeezed ourselves in anywhere. People were elbow to elbow and that’s where most of the families with kids were hanging.
We noticed there were a few people hanging out in the park nearby and that looked more our style. We planted ourselves under a big, shady tree where we had plenty of room to spread out with our own access to lake nearby.
It was the perfect spot for gazing out at the snow-capped Alps, watching the paragliders flying over us, squeezing in a few naps, and getting some good quality people watching in. We even got a few private shows from some of the talents that would be performing along the promenade later that evening.
Sometimes when traveling we feel like we have to see everything that the guide books recommend and we forget that its ok to just sit back and enjoy our surroundings. The best part of being in Annecy is that we didn’t play “tourist” and try to fit everything in. The heat wave, as brutal as it was, forced us to relax and just enjoy the weekend. It was kind of a vacation from our vacation I guess you could say.
Lake Annecy is seriously beautiful and definitely worth a visit in our opinion. In fact, after visiting the real Venice we’d recommend Annecy any day if you want your fill of romantic canals and gelato without being trampled on by crazy tourists and yelled at by locals! But more on that in another post…
Check out the video from our two weeks of house sitting and exploring the beautiful villages and lakes in the French Alps!