We left Lake Lucerne, headed over the alps and after a twisty-turny mountain drive into France we made our way to another lake: Lake Annecy. The difference was stark: earlier in the day I’d thrown a snowball at Holly in temperatures around freezing up a mountain pass, but when we arrived at Annecy it was sunny and seasonably warm. Like most of our overnight stops, we parked up at the hotel, unloaded some stuff and then went out for a walk to explore the town we’d found ourselves in and to get some dinner. And what a beautiful place we’d found ourselves in.
The water of Lake Annecy was crystal clear. Standing at the water’s edge I could see my shadow on the lakebed.
And photographing the water at a more traditional angle, I got a shot that might work pretty well as a desktop background.
On the bank of the canal that cuts through the town of Annecy into the lake itself, we found a number of people staring at something near the water. We got closer and found a tiny mouse clinging to the embankment.
Someone’s attempt at lowering a stick for the little guy to clamber up only served to spook him and he jumped into the water to try swimming across to the other bank – something on par to a human swimming the channel.
Unfortunately in the river were some coots who seemed quite intent on eating him.
The poor little mouse swam in all directions trying to avoid them but they kept nipping at him. With the crowd egging him on the coots realised the public opinion was against them and they eventually gave up, leaving him to swim on alone.
After surviving for so long against the coots, the mouse was disoriented, tired and struggling to stay afloat. Which is when the final twist of the tale showed up.
After that sailed through, there was no sign of the mouse. We’d lost sight of him before the boat came along so we’re not certain what happened to him. It’s probably better for everyone to assume that he made it out alive.
After waiting a bit to see if we could see him, we continued exploring the town. The late afternoon sun, the clear blue water and the architecture all combined to make for a good looking place.
The latter view is the one we enjoyed as we sat outside a restaurant eating some dinner.
A bit further up the canal there was a miniature waterfall thingy obviously used to control the flow of the water because it has some sort of mechanism next to it.
There was a fair amount of wildlife on the canal, including a swan. As it tried to take off, I was in shutter priority shooting mode taking pictures of the waterfall. The resulting shot wasn’t what I intended to capture but I like the result regardless.
I quickly flicked over to aperture priority, my usual shooting mode, to capture the shot I was going for. Fortunately swans need quite a long run-up to get airborne.
In the centre of the canal was a building. This is where I turn to the power of Wikipedia to see what it is, which tells me it is the Palais de l’Isle, built in 1132 and has spent time as a residence, an administrative headquarters, a courthouse and a jail.
What of the elements I like the most about this shot is the lighting of the people in the bottom left.
I found another swan on the canal. With the sunning creeping lower in the sky I liked the lighting on him too.
We continued our wander through the town and soon found ourselves back on the lakeside.
We looped around the lakeside and along a short canal which was more of a boat park. With the sun getting lower in the sky the lighting continued to be lovely.
We retired to our hotel for a bit to relax, and neutered back out again later when it was dark, mainly to get a shot of the Palais de l’Isle at night.
The next morning we woke and went for a walk to get some breakfast. This game me a change to photograph the Palais de l’Isle by the morning light.
I also took the shot in portrait, which worked quite nicely in getting the reflection of the building in the water.
We had breakfast – one of the best breakfasts we had on the holiday, in fact, because we found somewhere that offered us toast, bacon and eggs, staples of a proper breakfast and yet things hard to find in European breakfasts. Strange we found them somewhere less touristy where less people spoke English. The breakfast wasn’t just popular with us.
After breakfast we went for another bit of a walk around.
In the morning light, we could see a lot of the things that had found their way to the bottom of the clear waters of the canal.
The harsher light made the scenery look all the more impressive.
With our walk complete and our breakfast settled, we got in the car for another few hour jaunt where we would once again leave France behind and enter yet another country on our tour.
Over the Alps