Last night the six of us (Sue and I were joined by Chantal, Joël, Yolaine and Pierre) enjoyed an excellent meal at La Caleche, which can be entered from P and Y's apartment without going outside the building. The French chef told us he learnt his art (of French chefery working for two years in Chichester. Chantal told us that in the high season (most of February) the restaurant would be full of English voices, with the locals feeling transported to a foreign land. She also demanded that we provide a name and a recipe for our version of Tartiflette, and did I hear her observe that it sounded quite good! Next week, Chantal.
No skiing today. No more 'face plants' on icy pistes. I'm 5 - 0 up in that contest. Unusually for Sue she hasn't come a cropper even once.
Fearing the worst in the Nordic skiing pistes department, we'd returned our skis etc yesterday, with today's visit to Annecy already in mind.
It's an easy half hour drive to Bonlieu car park in the centre of town, from where we enjoyed a lakeside wander in bright sunshine with the snow clad Tournette massif, which tops out at 2351 metres (Annecy is 450 metres) glittering in the distance beyond the head of the lake.
Our La Clusaz choughs have been replaced down here with coots and black-headed gulls, goosanders and mallards, with cormorants and bigger gulls and divers such as great crested grebes further out on the lake. The squabbling gulls and mallards might have been at Sale waterfront, but for the surprising absence of Canada geese. There were lots of runners out exercising on the walkways by the lake.
Statues and old buildings guided us to the old town to the south of the river.
Pedestrian streets between tall buildings, with some tourists but not too many, occupied our time until an overwhelming desire for elevenses drew us into the welcoming Bistrot Café Bar Saint Clair. So welcoming in fact that had the proprietor had Ebola she would no doubt have passed it on to all her customers; she really shouldn't have been at work. Rue Saint Clair is near the old prison pictured (top).
Paninis in a small shop were as good as we've had. Even here they were complaining about the lack of snow. They haven't had any yet this calendar year, and feared that tourists would be staying away.
We wandered around some more - a slideshow will reveal more in due course - before adjourning for a scenic drive around Lac d'Annecy on the now very sunny afternoon.
We paused for a short walk near the impressive but very private chateau at Duingt, from where the lower picture of the Tournette massif was taken. Lounging on a small pier with some other walkers, we all soaked in the bright sunshine.
Neatly pruned plane trees accompanied us on our final stroll near Talloires, before we trundled back up to the delights of La Clusaz for another relaxing, agenda free, evening.