Chamonix, Annecy & Geneve

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We were up early enough  to hit the supermarket, where we knew the telephone would work for Emily to try again to call home. Again we were unsuccessful. Marie-Francoise and Roland picked us up mid-morning and we headed off down the valley. This time we took the pass over the mountains near Martigny and entered France via Forclaz. As seems to be the case everywhere in Europe, nobody took any notice of us crossing the borders, other than a cursory glance at passports when we entered Italy at Rome. Once over the border we stopped to enjoy the views of Mont Blanc and the nearby mountains on the way to Chamonix.

Chamonix is a French town tucked into a valley between tall mountains with snowcapped peaks above. Emily enjoyed her first French shopping experience. She was very taken with a singing marmot but settled instead for some smaller gifts to take home. We enjoyed lunch under an awning in the outdoor section of a Chamonix restaurant with a view across the street and up into the mountains.

Our next stop was the French town of Annecy. It is situated on the shore of a lake in the Mont Blanc region and is well known to Marie-Francoise because she visits it reasonably frequently to participate in various courses. We spent some time walking in the old part of the town which lies either side of the stream that flows out of the lake. Our path up one side of the stream to the lake and back down the other presented a lot of interesting photographic opportunities and we all took advantage of that. We finished up with ice creams from one of the stores on the street.

As we left for Geneva it began to rain and by the time we crossed the border into Switzerland and arrived there in peak hour traffic, the rain was pouring down. We eventually managed to make it through the traffic and parked on the eastern side of the lake, from where we walked a few blocks to visit Nicolas, Marie-Francoise and Roland’s son and his son, Yoann. Nicolas plied us with drinks and a selection of nibbles while we talked. By the time we left there the rain had eased and it was early evening.

Roland drove us home along the south side of Lac Leman so we crossed the border once again into France and then again into Switzerland before heading back up the valley to Sierre. One of the attractions along that side of the lake was Evian, home of the bottled water and on Emily’s list of places to see. We stopped there briefly to catch some photographs by the last light of the day. By the time we arrived home we were ready for sleep.