As the weather was too cloudy to go up into the mountains, we made a day trip to the scenic town of Annecy.  The combination of the slow regional trains and the circuitous route around the valleys (2 train changes) meant that the journey took about a an hour and half despite the direct distance being less than 60 km.


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Annecy’s most iconic building – the Palais de l’Isle [45 53 55 N, 6 7 40 E], which sits between canals leading into Lake Annecy.

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Annecy Cathedral and its shrine to St. François de Sales, an important figure in the Catholic mystic tradition. Although consecrated as bishop of Geneva, the seat of the bishopric had moved to Annecy due to Protestant control of Geneva in this period.

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Boats on Lake Annecy, France’s second largest lake (Annecy is at its northernmost tip).


It was hard to resist having a go, despite the dull weather and freezing water temperatures!



The final day was also a bit cloudy, but there were enough breaks in the cloud to use the last day on the multipasses to take the cable cars up to Le Brévent (2525 m) [45 56 1 N, 6 50 14 E].  This is the view down towards the mid station of Planpraz (1999 m).


Spot the chamois!  After days of searching, we had previously  spotted a marmot – sadly too far away for my camera’s limited zoom.  We would just have needed a mouflon for a clean sweep of distinctive alpine animals.


A tragic disappointment.  The refuge Bel Lachat had already closed for the season.


Descent through the clouds back down into Chamonix.


A last chance to enjoy some continental cafe culture (including some tartiflette) before heading home.

Chamonix IV