A Glimpse of Annecy

Annecy is one of the villages at the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France and it is known for its lake, Lac d’Annecy. Together with our very own Taal Lake in the Philippines, Lake Annecy has also been featured as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world at Budget Travel magazine.

Tell me, who would ever contend?

From the city proper, there’s a beautiful green park and a very charming canal, alluring us to walk a few steps more; and there you will find where the water is coming from. At the foot of a majestic mountain lies the equally bewitching lake of Annecy.

We found ourselves very lucky, since the weather turned out to be warmer than we expected. The bright, sunny day added to the beauty of the lake. The water’s captivatingly clear that I really felt like going for a good plunge, just like the ducks here that were not shy to show off their butts!

I'm standing here at the picturesque Bridge of Love (Pont des Amours). Where's my Romeo? He might be there, sinking.

There’s a cruise that gives tourists a wonderful way to appreciate the lake.  There’s lunch and dinner options for a 2-hour cruise ride. For short tour, say thirty minutes, there are also small wooden boats around.

Annecy is a nice place to walk around. As you pass by the European Gardens, there’s a bigger canal that somewhat welcomes you to the old town of Annecy.

The most recognizable landmark in this part of Annecy is the Palais de I’lle that sits on a small island in the middle of the river canal. It’s also known to be a prison-castle because it was originally built as a home to a lord until it was used as a prison at later time. Now it serves as a museum showing the history of the building and the city.

I got caught up by the little castle in the middle that I didn’t realize that we went inside the Church of St Maurice, which is apparently known for a 15th century mural of a decomposing corpse for a noble, which is also thought to be a reflection of the anxieties over the 100 years war.

If only I knew, I wouldn't miss that creepy mural.

Along the emerald green Thiou River you’ll find the rustic establishments with traditional architecture in the old town. It’s a rather nice stroll at a cobblestone street on a bright, sunny Friday. As my colleague’s mom summed up this quick, fancy tour, “what else can you complain, iha?”

10 Things I’m Loving Now – i amsterdam

In Amsterdam the water is the mistress and the land the vassal. Throughout the city there are as many canals and drawbridges as bracelets on a Gypsy’s bronzed arms.

– Felix Marti-Ibanez

From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!

Whenever I am off for vacation, days before the trip I’d normally google and read articles about my next destination. This time however, I didn’t do much. I was less excited. I only had few expectations. Perhaps I was influenced by what I heard (about the Dutch) and what the trip is primarily intended (for a conference).

Four days hence in Amsterdam, all I can just say is, “Bitin!” Amsterdam, I haven’t had enough of you. I involuntarily stucked myself in the hotel for two days, and understandably, enjoying the city overnight was not enough. It was a one-night stand but you left me hanging and it’s actually, my fault. Wow, this does sound like a heart break alright. Well, most especially, it is undeniably tough for me to move on when I failed to visit Van Gogh museum (sigh).

To know more about visiting Amsterdam, check out the city’s official travel site, www.iamsterdam.com.

1. Canal Cruise

In Amsterdam, the best way to enjoy the city (quickly) is not through a tour bus, but a canal cruise.

No visitor should miss out on a water-borne tour of the splendid canals of Amsterdam. The canals, which were declared a UNESCO monument in 2010, aren’t just a picturesque attraction, but were essential to defense and transport in 17th-century Amsterdam. With the arrival of the automobile, hundreds of canals were filled in nationwide to accommodate the new mode of transport, but Amsterdam has retained 165 of its historic canals, more than any other Dutch city. Definitely a canal tour makes for a wonderful first impression, as the tour boats take in much of the monumental architecture that lines the Canal Belt, the four concentric semi-circles that loop around the the historic Center (reference: goamsterdam.about.com).

NEXT: Amsterdam architecture