Posted by: 2girls2europe | July 17, 2011

Pink Cupcakes, Alps, and Salsa Nights: The Best of Geneva and Annecy

Dearest Readers,

It’s raining it’s pouring, Gina’s upstairs snoring (no seriously). Here in Annecy, France it is raining cats and dogs and probably other animals too! It hasn’t stopped for 7 hours, which is tragic, because it was supposed to be our day on the beach.

But never fear, dearest readers, for Gina and I can make fun wherever we go. Our hostel is so precious (right now the family that owns it is gathered in the common room playing French Scrabble).

So I am curled up with a giant mug of Peppermint tea (I have been carrying this tea with me ever since Carolin gave me some in Leipzig!) looking out over the hostel’s garden–yes, the hostel has a garden full of couches and volleyball nets and flowers–writing and reflecting. What could be better?

These past four days have been our craziest. We spent one full day in Geneva, Switzerland and then one half day and one full day in Annecy, France and tomorrow we head to Switzerland. As if the country switch isn’t enough, they are on two different currencies as well (good grief!).

So without further ado, here is the best of Geneva and Annecy:

–The beautiful jet and the magnificent lake of Geneva. Gina and I weren’t really sure about our choice to go to Geneva. I mean, all there is is stuff to look at, there is not really that much to do.

Just being narcissistic with Lake Geneva

But, wow, Geneva is gorgeous. We sat by the lake, wandered along the coast, and just admired the water.
Gina describes the jet best: you know when a small child holds a hose straight up in the air and it flies straight up and then back down? It’s a big kid version of that.

Wow-ser Geneva

We were even able to go back as the sun was setting over the alps. *Gush* I couldn’t stop gaping at the way the mountains changed colors with the setting sun. Blood reds changed to light tangerine oranges and  muted yellows.

–We toured the World Health Organization in Geneva. Our wonderful advisor coordinated a visit with a girl who works there, Julia, and she gave us a full history of the place along with a tour. We stood at the top and had a wonderful view of Geneva and the lake.

Julia and Us!

–In Annecy, we found a beach. Okay, beach in the broadest sense of the word meaning grass where you could lie down and a place to swim, but in this town, this is as close to beach as you can possibly get. We arrived early yesterday, so that we could spend the entire afternoon laying out and swimming in the freezing cold water.
I just kept looking around and thinking, how is this real life? It’s just such a beautiful city. It’s called the Venice of France, because it has a beautiful canal that runs through the streets and meets up with the lake. The alps surrounding the lake are equally breathtaking. I am running out of ways to describe the beauty of this area without repeating myself or running into cliches (I already used the word breathtaking so how much worse can I get?!).

So far the only pictures we have taken in Annecy are of us eating French this restaurant our waiters gave us free dessert. We still don't know why...yay!

–We happened upon “salsa night” in Annecy. We were wandering the lake last night as the sun was setting and found all of these adults dressed up and looking spiffy and dancing … really really well. It was hilarious to people watch. Some couples moved as one while others looked uncomfortable with the idea of motion. The Spanish music pulsed and all of the sudden, everyone was line dancing.
If everyone hadn’t looked so gosh darn coordinated, we would have joined it. But I thought for once I would spare my dignity, and not get my flailing limbs involved.
Gina and I decided that we hope we are the kind of adults who can one day dance with our significant others by the lake in the Alps.

–Bagels and Cupcakes. It’s a little cafe in Annecy that Gina and I have become regulars in (aka, we have come both days we are here and chatted with the owner…him in French, us in English, both of us gesturing, nodding, and smiling).
The walls are bright greens and there are small orange tables with hot pink chairs. If you know me at all, you know that bright colors can bring a smile to my face on the darkest of days.
They sell mini cupcakes for 1 euro and big cupcakes for 2.5 euro, which is a steal for this area. Gina likes the giant cookies for 2 euro. Either way, each cupcake is like a small piece of art bedecked with small sugar balls and dollops of amazing, slightly cold frosting.
We plan to go back tomorrow before we leave.

–Meeting people in our hostel. The best part about the rain is that it traps all of us in the hostel common room. So we have met a couple from Australia, a couple from Paris, a woman who just moved here, a girl from Philadelphia studying abroad, a girl traveling on her own from Australia, and more.
Everyone has crazy cool stories whether they have hiked the mountains of Italy or gallavanted through Spain, everyone has a piece of advice to share. And we can all commiserate about the best and worsts of traveling.
The best part? Gina and I can actually contribute. We suddenly realized that we have good stories and we have advice to give out (we gave out suggestions of hostels or cities we like).
As people who have traveled for 4 weeks now, we are considered veterans. We are wise in the ways of the world. Who would’ve thunk it?

Tommorow we are off to Switzerland, but we plan to spend the morning biking around the lake (weather permitting). This is truly the life.

With much love from Annecy!


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