Annecy is the Venice of France, so we have our own version of the Venetian Carnival.
The Carnaval Vénitien is currently taking place in Annecy. David & I went downtown to see the parade this afternoon, but then quickly remembered what “parade” means in Annecy. The Masques walk very, very slowly through the old town, stopping every 5 seconds so that people can take pictures.
Except the pedestrian roads in the old town are so narrow and crowded that unless you are one of the old, selfish people at the front of the line who’s knocked down little kids to get there (seriously, old people here are vicious), you see absolutely nothing. And there are no barriers or fences to keep people out of the parade, so random people like to walk in front of or behind the Masques to get better pictures, which of course ruins the pictures for everyone else.
The Carnaval is put on by the Association Rencontres Italie Annecy and you can check their site to see photo albums of previous years as well as buy post cards. (I only took a few crappy pictures before we got fed up and decided to go eat some crêpes in a restaurant far away from the parade.) The Masques will be back out strolling around the streets of the vieille ville tomorrow morning starting at 11am if anyone in Annecy really wants to see them in person.
The costumes are gorgeous (and many are made by the lycée pro students here in Annecy), but I have to admit, the masks still freak me out a bit.