Focus on Annecy
Confession from the start, and not one that I have the slightest guilt about, I love Portugal. My attraction was a quick one, when first visiting many years ago the impish passport controller took one look at my photograph and was quick to give me sympathy for rapid aging. All done with a wicked smile and a twinkling eye, the Portuguese way.
So how would Annecy compare. But 24 hours into my visit both thumbs are up, and because of a shining sun they cast a positive shadow. I didn’t know what to expect, but had created an image of a sleepy little town with beauty and a yawning presence.
I have found a bustling big town, with a look at me confidence built upon a solid and deserved foundation.
The Lake is beyond beautiful, an unreal vision that I now understand the French are happy to keep a secret.
People promenade, but in a low key and natural way, and children are very much to the fore. There are boats and pedlows to rent but the prices are pre arranged constant and there is no pressurised touting. The town itself reminds me of other places that I have been lucky enough to visit, but does so always retaining its own identity.
There are for sure parallels with Venice, water and unique architecture lie at its core. The love of bikes and vibrancy reminds me of Amsterdam, but there is certainly no kick out of trying to shock.
First impressions count, but cynically I always reserve the right to also reserve my judgement, which I will do and report back.