Category Archives: Annecy, Chambéry & France

Vieille Ville of Annecy

By   August 12, 2008

So not a lot has been happening lately, mostly because France basically shuts down for the month of August and I’m not working which means no income and no fun. The big excitement for me last week was going to the eye doctor and ordering new contacts. You wish you had my life, right?  But at least my eye doctor is located next to the castle in the old town, so I took some pictures during my walk to the optician. (My older pictures of Annecy can be found here.)

One of the castle’s towers. (A tour group was all over the place so this was the only picture I took.)

Canal de Thiou

Pretty colors

Lac d’Annecy

P.S. Why do doctors still talk a mile a minute even when they know you’re not French?

Où vit-on le mieux ? Le Palmarès 2008 des Départements

By   August 8, 2008

I found a copy of L’Express from the end of June lying around the apartment a few days ago, and noticed it was the rankings of the best and worst départements in mainland France. The winner overall is Haute-Garonne (Toulouse) in the Midi-Pyrénées, followed by 2. Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau) in Aquitaine, 3. Ille-et-Vilaine (Rennes) in Bretagne, 4. Isère (Grenoble) in Rhône-Alpes, and 5. Gironde (Bordeaux) in Aquitaine.  The losers? 92. Creuse (Guéret) in Limousin, 93. Eure (Evreux) in Haute-Normandie, 94. Meuse (Bar-le-Duc) in Lorraine, 95. Aisne (Laon) in Picardie, and 96. Ardennes (Charleville-Mézières) in Champagne-Ardenne.

There are three main classements annexes, i.e. the best départements for:

Young people

  1. Hérault (Montpellier)
  2. Haute-Garonne (Toulouse)
  3. Gironde (Bordeaux)
  4. Bouches-du-Rhône (Marseilles)
  5. Rhône (Lyon)


  1. Hautes-Alpes (Gap)
  2. Aveyron (Rodez)
  3. Corrèze (Tulle)
  4. Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau)
  5. Vendée (La Roche-sur-Yon)


  1. Haute-Garonne (Toulouse)
  2. Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau)
  3. Vendée (La Roche-sur-Yon)
  4. Ille-et-Vilaine (Rennes)
  5. Hérault (Montpellier)

Then there are 14 classements thématiques, according to health, security, education, transportation, the economy, the environment, culture, etc. All of the results can be found here: Les départements où il fait bon vivre. There’s also a test interactif you can try to find out which département best suits you if you’re thinking about moving to France but don’t know where yet.

Haute-Savoie came in at 19 overall, which isn’t too bad out of 96. It’s at 45 for young people, 46 for seniors, and 20 for families. Higher education: 54, health: 24, price of housing: 91!!! (completely agree with this one!); security: 58, culture (museums, cinemas): 42; economic growth: 11; availability of internet: 43; businesses/shopping centers: 21; economic power: 34; living environment (pollution, access to sea or green areas): 44; weather: 75 (unfortunately, it is that bad here); social situation (low unemployment, high income): 2 !!!; medical services: 57; success rate for le bac: 2 !!! (apparently lycéens are really smart here!)

I was a little surprised that Haute-Savoie has some of the highest incomes, but I guess it makes sense considering how many people who live here actually work in Switzerland and benefit from the exchange rate between the Swiss Franc and Euro. Some of these are no-brainers though, like the cost of living is highest in Paris, the weather is the best on the Côte d’Azur, and the safest area is Limousin & Auvergne (because the population is lowest there). How is your département ranked in the palmarès 2008?

Centre Hospitalier de la Région d’Annecy

By   June 18, 2008

The new hospital in Annecy, with the ridiculously long name of Centre Hospitalier de la Région d’Annecy, opened about two months ago. It’s located in the commune of Metz-Tessy, next to the airport, just north of Carrefour and the northern limit of Annecy. A few bus lines were re-routed to serve it, but for those who do not have a car, taxis are the only transportation to the hospital after midnight. Yet even for those who have a car, finding a parking spot is never easy. This was the biggest problem with the old hospital – lack of parking. The new hospital was supposed to help alleviate this problem, but it didn’t.

Mais pourquoi ? Because of its location near the major highways heading north and the large number of people who live near Annecy but work in Switzerland, carpoolers have been leaving their cars in the free hospital parking garage all day. I don’t think the architects and engineers took that into account when they were planning it… and I have a feeling it won’t be free for long.

So if you need to go to the hospital in Annecy, make sure it’s during the regular bus hours!

International Animated Film Festival – June 9 to 14

By   June 9, 2008

I was downtown this morning running errands and I noticed some crews setting up equipment on the Pâquier. Then I remembered the International Animated Film Festival starts today. Oh yeah, that little thing…

The calm before the storm…

This Film Festival is the largest tourist attraction each year in Annecy. Tim Burton has attended in previous years (or so I’ve been told). Don’t plan on being able to find accommodation if you want to be a tourist this week. And you also cannot drink alcohol on the Pâquier after 7 PM, but you can start drinking again at 1 AM. Just so you know.

I’m a little confused why they wrote the dates in both British English (day then month) and American English (month then day): 09 to 14 june but 5-30-08?  And somebody forgot his English capitalization rules…

International means lots of flags. They just put up the American one as I walked by. (I think that man is wondering why I’m taking photos of them putting up flags. I wasn’t the only one though!)

They do make the canal look even prettier.

And this has nothing to do with the Film Festival, but I happened to walk by the new Subway and was excited when I saw the Ouvert sign. But then I realized that meant “open for business in general” and not “open right now so you can buy a sandwich at 9:30 AM.” There were no hours posted, so I don’t know how often they will be open. I’m hoping since it’s just a carry out place (there is absolutely no place to sit inside) that they will be open “non-stop” during the day. I get so annoyed at restaurants that are closed after 2 PM. Some of us never eat lunch at noon!

Annecy Events this Summer

By   May 16, 2008

May 17: Fête des Arts du Cirque, quartier du Parmelan, 2pm to midnight.

May 31: Nordic Walking Découverte, le Pâquier, 10am to 5pm.

June 9-14: International Animated Film Festival, everywhere.

June 15: Championnat Rhône-Alpes de VTT, les Puisots on the Massif du Semnoz.

June 21: Musical Festival, downtown.

June 21: Saint Jean bonfire, La Visitation, 9pm.

June 21 & 22: Coupe d’Europe des Nations d’Athlétisme, Parc du Sports

June 22 to September 14: P’Tit Bal Perdu, Les Jardins de l’Europe, every Sunday 6-10pm.

June 25: Les Soldes / Summer sales begin! (Will last for 6 weeks.)

July 6: Lake Annecy Triathlon, le Pâquier.

July 14: National Festival, le Pâquier, starts at 4pm; fireworks at 10:15pm.

July 16-19: Les Noctibules, in the streets of Annecy.

July 18-27: Hautes Vibrations (festival about people of the mountains), around the lake.

July 21 to August 2: Little Princes of Lake Annecy Tennis Tournament, courts at Marquisats, 13 years old or younger.

August 2: Lake Annecy Festival, le Pâquier.

August 15: Swim Across the Lake, baie d’Albigny, 1000m or 2400m.

August 16-23: Annecy Summer Festival for teachers and students of music, museum/castle and conservatory.

September 7: 10K run in Annecy, begin and finish at Parc des Sports. Cycling on Avenue de Genève / Place des Romains.

September 20: Free Sibra bus & bike day in Annecy, as part of European Mobility Week. [Date not yet confirmed.]

September 20-21: European Heritage Days / Journées Européennes du Patrimoine

September 21: Bike ride up the Semnoz, gather at le Pâquier to sign up and receive results.

September 30 to October 7: Italian Film Festival, Bonlieu.

October 10-13: Salon des Antiquaires, Parc des Expositions.

October 11: Retour des Alpages, Vielle Ville, parade of animals starts at 2:30pm.

Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly

By   May 5, 2008

Haute-Savoiers? Haute-Savoiens? People in Haute-Savoie! (And anyone else who is interested…)

The annual medieval festival in Andilly will be held May 17 & 18 and May 24 & 25 this year. Price is 17 € a day for adults; 10 € for kids. Andilly is located halfway between Annecy and Geneva. Open 10 am until midnight on the Saturdays (plus special night shows beginning at 9:30pm) and 10am until 7pm on the Sundays. Free parking. And of course you can rent costumes (nobleman/woman, knight, jester, monk, peasant, etc.) for around 20 € with a 100 € check deposit.

Grandes Médievales D’andilly
by andillyloisirs

I missed out on this last year because I was traveling, but this year David & I are going on my birthday!

Marathon of the Annecy Lake (including walk on the lake in boat)

By   April 17, 2008

The Lake Annecy marathon and half-marathon were this past Sunday, April 13. Obviously I did not run in it (me? run? HA!), but it’s usually a big deal in Annecy every year. I’d like to point out the English version of their website, however, and how badly it was translated. It almost seems like a Babelfish translation…

The “Voluntary” page is my favorite.

Become voluntary!

Next Marathon of the Annecy Lake will proceed Sunday April 13, 2008.
This annual festival can take place only with the action of the voluntary ones, which must be, increasingly many, with the impact of this event.

We thought, that you, implied in the sport and the life of our city and his area, you could assist in your the organization of this new edition, and to also involve your parents and friends, in a cordial environment .

You will gain there: – the smile and compliments of the athletes (and of their entourage),
– the lunch which will be offered,
– the textile memory (of quality), … and our thanks!

Answer our call by sending your response by mall to us before the 31.03.2008, without forgetting to leave us your complete co-ordinates: [email protected]

Thank you to specify us égalament which day you will be able to take part in the organization of the marathon of the Annecy Lake:
Friday April 11 2008 of 13 H with 5 p.m.
saturday April 12 2008 of 10. 30 at 6 p.m. 30
Sunday April 13 2008 of 8 H with 5 p.m.

With soon
The Steering Committee

Though the “Sporting Information” page is also quite amusing:

> allowed Runners: Marathon born in 1986 and before Semi-Marathon born in 1988 and front.

> Any competitor in difficulty will be dealt with.

> the bicycles, rollers, runners without numbers or other guides are strictly prohibited on the course. The bicycles guides are strictly prohibited on the course under penalty of disqualification of the athlete.

> Of the official police chiefs are charged to check with the regularity of the race on the whole of the course.

> Handisport in armchair: for reasons of safety related to the course, the participation of the handisports in armchair is not authorized.

Handisports in armchair, eh? Hey Annecy, I’m looking for a translating job, ya know… Just sayin!

April (snow) showers

By   April 9, 2008

I keep telling everybody that the weather in Annecy is gorgeous in April. “Don’t worry, last year it was sunny and 70.” “You won’t need warm clothes or an umbrella.” Ummm. This is what it looked like yesterday:

Today it’s raining, but it still feels just as cold. And the forecast for the next 5 days is, of course, rain. ::sigh:: To compare, this was April 9, 2007:

I promise it’s usually nice in April. I don’t know why this year has to be so crappy. So since I’m spending a lot of time indoors these days, I keep taking pictures of Canaille because he’s so cute. And always in the way.

He does this every morning when I’m trying to get ready. And then he needs a drink.

And of course there is a website called It cracks me up!