Le Retour des Alpages

Alpine cow walking toward me.

Today was the Retour des Alpages in Annecy. Every year in October, sheep, goats, and cows wearing huge bells are paraded through the over-crowded streets in Annecy to signify the end of the grazing season in the mountains. I missed out on this tourist attraction last year, so I was determined to go this year even though I knew how many people would be downtown. David & I spent a good 30 minutes driving around before we found a parking place, and passed the time waiting for the cows to arrive shopping in Decitre (my favorite bookstore!) As soon as we exited the store, we saw the sheep at the front of the parade crossing Rue Sommeiller at Rue Carnot.


I ran to the middle of the street to take some pictures and quickly felt sad for the poor animals who had to walk through all the people all over Annecy. And when only a few cows had crossed the road, the policeman thought it would be a good idea to hold up the parade and let some buses and cars go through. ::sigh:: Those cows looked so scared. They tried walking toward people standing at the edges because they didn’t know where else to go. And I bet those huge belts around their necks itched like crazy.

Frantically stopping cows from walking into bus.

  • Emily

    It was a pretty cool parade to see. I can’t believe you drove and found a spot!

  • Emily

    It was a pretty cool parade to see. I can’t believe you drove and found a spot!

  • Cyrus

    In Switzerland they call it the “désalpe.”

  • Cyrus

    In Switzerland they call it the “désalpe.”

  • Leah

    Looks like a close COWllision that almost happened there!

    PS-I apologize for the dad joke!

  • Leah

    Looks like a close COWllision that almost happened there!PS-I apologize for the dad joke!

  • http://annecytraditions.free.fr/en/html/index.html Manu

    Hello,
    I am the webmaster of the official site presenting this event 😉
    http://annecytraditions.free.fr/en/html/index.html
    Happy to find a good experience of our visit to Annecy.
    See you next october ?!?

  • http://annecytraditions.free.fr/en/html/index.html Manu

    Hello,
    I am the webmaster of the official site presenting this event 😉
    http://annecytraditions.free.fr/en/html/index.html
    Happy to find a good experience of our visit to Annecy.
    See you next october ?!?