Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Annecy - the Venice of the Savoie

We visited Annecy, France near the end of our vacation. It is a beautiful town located in the Haute Savoie region of France. Annecy (pronounced an-si) is on the northern tip of Lac d'Annecy (Lake Annecy) and is between Grenoble and Geneva (35 km to the north).


"Annecy in the North of the French Alps, is the Venice of Savoie -- a well deserved title. The medieval town centre built around a 14th Century Chateau is dissected by small canals and streams running out of Lac Annecy, which is clean, fresh and a wonderful azure colour. Annecy is also the prefecture of the d├ępartement of Haute-Savoie." (Wikitravel)
In the summer it is a tourist destination for water sports, cycling, hiking, hang gliding and for its beautiful scenery and cuisine.  It is busy in the winter too as it is close to several winter sports resorts.


The area is famous for its cows and produces numerous cheeses (Beaufort, Savoie Gruyere, Reblochon, Tamie, Tome (also Tomme) des Bauges, Tomme de Savoie (a favorite of mine) and Brie).

The area also produces wines from the Gamay, Pinot Noir and Mondeuse grapes.

So great scenery, food and wine; is it any wonder I wanted to visit Annecy. Some of these pictures are just begging for me to paint them.

View of the old town through a Chateau window

Did I mention the food? Well the pastries were wonderful, there were many ice cream shops, one in particular seemed to have a line up no matter what time of day we went by. We had a cheese fondue, seated by the window overlooking the river; delicious, all 3500 calories (it felt like) of it.

I picked the Myrtille (blueberry) Pastry: excellent

There was a large market on the Sunday morning featuring something for everyone.

Almost endless olive and tapenade selection

Luscious fresh fruits

Great selection of cheeses

The light on the river and the canals creates magical reflections that change with the time of day.

There are many water birds, but the swans gliding around the edge of the lake were my favorites.

This is a picture of the reflection in the furniture store window across the narrow street from where we were having a glass of beer; if you look closely you can see us under the Milton Pub awning.

I started with a window and decided to end the same way, so here is a window reflecting the chimneys from across the narrow street of the old town.

We were away for a few days this week, so I don't have much to share from my studio. I did complete this drawing though:

It is a Chickadee that I saw and photographed on Gabriola Island last fall, it is done in graphite (pencil) and I have called it "Perched".

It will take me a couple of days to catch up on things here at home and to get around to visiting all my blog friends, until then, take care, and thanks for dropping by.

Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week ................


  1. That was a fun visit. Beautiful photos. Makes me want to leave on a jet plane. And as usual, wonderful drawing!

  2. Mountains, waterways, amazing buildings, good weather and great food. Sounds like the perfect mix for a wonderful holiday.

  3. Looks like a fantastic place to visit. Thanks for taking us there with your beautiful photography and narrative. I also like the chickadee drawing very much.

  4. the chickadee is adorable. :)

    the canals are beautiful. lovely homes in varying colors. really like that window reflection shot. :)

  5. What glorious photos of Annecy. It's so pretty.

  6. my family lives in Annecy and I'm happy to see on your blog all these images of places Iknow very well !
    It's really a beautiful city and the lake is very clean and blue !!
    gorgeous post Gillian
    hope you have tasted a Reblochon !!
    wish you a lovely new month

  7. Gillian, a fantastic selection of pictures. I bet you had a wonderful time in such a beautiful place.

    The Chickadee is beautiful.
    You have such a great talent.

  8. A stunning place to go......I have been close but never stopped...mor fool me.
    The drawing is very, very good. I like old natural history books with drawings. It's so much easier to identify things from a good drawing.

  9. You had me at "cheese". I would have put on 20 pounds easily there. I would say this one particular food is my favorite of all foods. All cheese is good. Maybe it's the Wisconsin in me, but seriously, cheese is life. What a selection! My mouth was drooling.

    The town is like San Antonio meets Europe. What a beautiful place to visit. Thanks for sharing.

  10. what a gorgeous place to visit, lovely streets and waterways!!

    yummy food is always a plus!!

  11. oooohhhh and the chickadee is beautiful!!!

  12. Gillian, what a beautiful city. Thanks for the tour, now I want to go and see this place myself. Your photos are just wonderful and I can see each one becoming a painting. Great post.

  13. I love the photographic tour of this quaint town you were in. The windows were great, all that yummy looking food to look at. I really like you bird drawing! Nice details in the feathers.

  14. What an enchanting city! If your photos weren't enough to entice me to dream of travelling there, the lure of all those cheeses and pastries, plus a Sunday market have me dreaming big time!

    Your chickadee drawing is so delicate and sensitive. You did an excellent job of "capturing" the little sweetie (or should that be "tweetie"?). The chickadee is New Brunswick's "official" bird. What's the one for BC? The sea gull?!

  15. A lovely place to go in France, it is like Venice, beautiful. And I love your Chickadee, precious.

  16. This place is very reminiscent of Venice … time seems to have stood still there. The little bird at the end is adorable. :)

  17. Those window shots draw me in...sigh. Beautiful.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  18. What a wonderful little town. This is just beautiful. Your marvelous photos make me wish I could visit there.

  19. What a great spot. You've certainly captured the mood and charm of this place with your wonderful photos. And your drawing is lovely as they always are.

  20. That looks like an amazing place to visit with lots of special food to try. Yum!

  21. So many wonderful photos. That must have been a fabulous trip.. Of course I am in LOVE with your drawing. You truly are so talented..

  22. A little like Venice I think. Looks like a great trip for you. :)

  23. I very much LOVE the look, the atmosphere, the quaintness of these photos. NOW I want to travel there. :)

  24. Your landscape photos are superb! I enjoyed a tour in such a lovely town of Annecy with you.


  25. A "street" that is a canal has always been a romantic notion to me, so I especially enjoyed this delightful tour of Annecy. Your food and window photos were great ways of passing on the "flavour" of the town to your readers, Gillian, and that little chick-a-dee was very charming. I did look for your refection under the awning, but my eyes were not quite sharp enough to pick it out. It was nice, though, to imagine the two of you having a great time sampling new brews and savouring the European cuisine.

  26. Hi there - what a great set of pictures - I think I need to head back to Europe - but there's a lot to see too!

    I was going to say something more about the pictures but I got to the Chickadee and thought it was really great. I may be able to take a half decent snap now and then - but I really don't know how people can draw like this! Wonderful!

    Stewart M

  27. What a quaint little place. You got me on the cheeses, then you had to throw in the pastries! Great photos. I wanna go!

  28. Annecy must have been a wonderful place to visit and explore. It looks so beautiful and a place i'd love to explore - now I'm off to Google it. Your chickadee sketch is so realistic !

  29. What a beautiful town Annecy is!! Elegant water-scapes are soothing and I feel as if cool breezes were coming from your blog. I enjoyed your tour very much!