Last week, I headed off to Annecy, France to photograph MOF and Champion du Monde, Philippe Rigollot, at work in his kitchen. While those photos are sure to blow your mind, you’ll need to wait until June for me to unveil them. But you don’t need to wait for me to show you around Annecy. So lace up some sensible shoes, and get ready to absorb one of the most beautiful towns in France – an enchanted wonderland at the feet of les Alpes – with a lake so crystal clear you can see straight to the bottom of it.
Aside from the Lac d’Annecy, the ville’s other claim to fame is its 12th century prison above (and in many of the photos to follow). Yes, I said 12th century. It’s three times older than the United States. It’s also purported to be one of the most photographed anythings in all of France.
Annecy also excels at stunning doors and windows. While we’re only three pictures into this, do you already kind of want to move here? I can’t blame you. ‘Tis lovely at every turn.
It’s the prison again – this time at dusk. Too pretty. Surrounded by a bevy of gelaterias and restaurants, you can soak in its punitive charms from myriad angles.
Gorgeous at night, too, since they light it up, inside and out. Choice real estate that it is, I don’t think I would mind being a prisoner here. Can you imagine being sentenced to be incarcerated? The judge would have to be like, “For the crime of Gluttony in the 1st Degree, you are hereby sentenced to your own quaint lakeside prison palace in the heart of adorable Annecy, France. Stunning sunrises over the Alps begin promptly at 7:30am. Meals are only available at-whim from one of the restaurants in the courtyard. And you’ll only receive 1 hour of peddle-boat rides in the canal each day, for you and a buddy.”
Annecy’s affinity for lighting everything extends far and wide. There’s a water fountain light show in the lake, and they even light the trees in the lakeside park. I just loved the shot below. The green . . . and the geometry of it. These Annecy’ans know what they’re doing.
Did I mention that, much like Strasbourg, they have swans in their canals? Yeah. And since everything is lit up pretty, the whole swan situation is extra fairytale’esque at night.
During the daytime, the lake, nestled at the feet of the Alps, is just a dazzler. The next few shots were taken on a cloudy day, so I flipped them over to black-and-white to heighten the moody effect. Enjoy…
I like how the leaves/limbs echo the shape of the mountains here…
Check out these fishermen. Could it get more serene there?
A sunrise shot from my last morning in Annecy. The beams of light cut through the haze, which makes the succession of peaks fade away into creamy whiteness. There are a few more further back that are totally obscured by the humidity in the air.
And back to the prison we go. A side view from the northern canal….
And this final shot really encapsulates one of the best ways to enjoy an Annecy vacation. Walk out onto one of the many docks, take off your shoes, and go to sleep. You’re in heaven, after all.
So there you go – Annecy! Did you stop halfway through reading this and log onto Expedia to book a flight and hotel? If so, good. If not, you’d better hurry – they book-up quickly. Even I, much as I love Paris and city life, am seriously thinking about a return visit. It’s just too peaceful and away from everything. I love you, Annecy.