A day trip to Annecy

A day out in Annecy in March, not the best time but the best place to go for a family like us.

We went to Geneve Motor Show last March, which was a quick but a good decision. It wasn’t the first time neither to Switzerland nor to France, but the first time in the area. Being the last minute planner for the motor show, we could not find a place to stay in Geneve, so we searched for around and find a convenient, business hotel at Thoiry/France, a cute little village  just half an hour drive from Geneve. Of course  a long weekend to the area provides you more than the motor show itself. So we decided to do a day trip to Annecy, which was about 50 km. from our hotel.

To Annecy in the beginning of spring

To Annecy in the beginning of spring

 

The park by the lake

The park by the lake

Annecy is a very nice town, in the middle of the Alpine Mountains, by the lovely lake of Annecy. A town of castles, lakes, rivers and bridges. French Cafes, Macaronis, red tiled roofs and little village streets. Parks, large trees, fog and well, castles again.

Rivers and bridges

Rivers and bridges

French Cafes

French Cafes

French Macaroni

French Macaroni

A walk in the park

A walk in the park

We started our tour in the lanes of the town, climbing up to the castle, which was not the best part for our son actually, as he doesn’t like to walk. Afterwards, we had a little break in a nice French cafe, at a very small corner table and enjoyed our hot chocolates and cappuccinos. For lunch (which I may tell mote n another post sometime later) we had a lovely meal at a very French restaurant. When I say French I really mean French, with French speaking waiters and a French menu. Thanks to the non-Parisian French guests of the restaurant on the next table, they very helpfully explained us all the menu in English and with lots of advice, helped us to give our order.

In the afternoon we did a walk by the foggy lake and some “people watch” activity with lots of relaxing time and feeding the swans. By the evening, we loved the town, loved the people and dreamed of coming back sometime in summer or late spring maybe in the coming years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Mediterenian, so France

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Monaco

A few years ago, on a very nice weekend in a spring time, we made a trip to the South of France with our son. Well, let’s say a long weekend. The sea was so Mediteranian, the food were so French, the blue was so deep, the sky was so clear, we were so happy, our son was so happy.

Actually, everything started in Italy, arriving to Milano airport late in the evening. Going to a hotel. In the morning, we went back to the airport to rent our car. Once more I have tried to rent an Alfa Romeo 159, and received a Mercedes instead.

Driving souther, passing the border, our first stop was Monaco. Unfortunately, with our son we could not get into to any Casinos, but enjoyed a drive on Formula 1 Route and a fine lunch in Cafe de Paris.

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Hop on hop of in Cannes

In mid May, a week after Monaco Grand Prix and a week before Cannes film festival, it was really crowded around but was a perfect time to do this trip.

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daddy, all time driver

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Grasse, learning how parfumes are made

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St Paul

St. Tropez, St. Paul, Eze, Nice, Cannes… Colorful people, good food, lovely scenery. Instead of spending time in center of Nice, which did not look so fascinating to us, we prefered to go to little villages around. St Paul and Eze were by far the best of all. Although parking, leaving our car behind and walking uphill is a bit tirding for our son (and for us). St Tropez was a dissappointment, probably because we did not know so well, where to eat, where to go and where the high society were.

But leaving all these places on one side, I think we all loved Menton most:-). Is our preferances strange? What we look in a tiny town is: convenient parking close to nice restaurants, preferably with a nice view, shopping street within easy walking and warm people. Menton had them all, parked our car by the sea, walked on the shopping street, bought our melon ice screams, and felt the warm people felt like more Italian than French.

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Residues of our son’s pizza, made our desperate waiter smile a bit.

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Eze. Sooo cute town, with lanes to loose yourself, tiny shops and a surprize in top of the hill, a tropic paradise letting you enjoying the view of deep blue Medditeranian sea. Of course whenever you come to such a place, someone asks you to take their photograph. Eze is not an exception.

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Photo of the photographer daddy

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Eze

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A visit to a Michelin adviced restaurant

As you can read from the “about us” section, we prefer enjoying wine and dine in our travels, instead of budget traveling. Not every evening, but at least one evening of our travel, we look for a more elegant restaurant, with local wine variaties and dishes. The recent Geneva trip was not an exception. After eating 2 nights at a moderate Italian restaurant “Casanova”, just by our hotel, in our final night, our choice was Les Cepages, a very elegant looking, Michelin Adviced restaurant.

First I should tell you how we got there:

Staying 4 km to Thoiry, and getting lost twice with our BMW Navigation-not knowing the street of our hotel, we passed through the restaurant a couple of times and tought that a dinner there would be nice to have. So in our hotel we asked the reception guy about the restaurant, and he said, it is very pricey therefore he would not recommend. Well, a Saturday evening, and third night in the same Italian restaurant does not fit in our travel expectations, so we asked him to make a reservation in Les Cepages. After asking a couple of times if we were sure about it, he made our reservation. But instead of the prices, our concern, was if it would be suitable to get in there with our Jeans:-)

Well, everything went well. (Almost everythng let’s say), we went to the restaurant, selected our courses form a French manu, which we did not understand any of the words, and surprisingly, everything we have selcted were perfectly good.(well, almost everything). The only exception was our son’s choice. Actually, it was not his choice, because he could not find anything to choose from. So we asked them to make something with chicken. However, the chichken he got was with a nice souce (nice for us, not for him) and some nice vegetables (Again, nice for us, not for him). Thanks god he likes to eat olive oil and bread, so that was all he could eat:-)

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A perfect pastry stuffed with very well cooked beef, with a perfect souce and some vegetables.

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Nicely decaorated table, and a perfect wine list

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Best escalopes we had ever had in our lives

The result is;

Well yes it is pricey, not because the prices in the list are high,but because the portions are, how can I say, very “French”:-)

Well, yes, it was a bit too much to expect a 10-year-old to eat these.

Well, yes anyway it was worth it.