Posted by: 2girls2europe | July 18, 2011

Jessie’s Basically French Now: Okay Not Really, But Annecy Rocks

Dearest Readers,

So today, I became a French woman (sort of). Not in the sense that I won’t shave my legs or that I have any conception of the language.

But in the sense that today, I bought a sandwich on a baguette from a food stand, gingerly placed it in the basket of my bike, and set off for the lake, weaving amongst the easily spotted tourists with their maps and fanny packs. I was apparently convincing because a woman stopped to ask me for directions in French, and I had to shake my head sadly and admit that I spoke not one lick of French.

So as you can easily deduce from that one anecdote, I’m basically French. (I know I’m not really, but hey, a girl can dream, right?)

Oh hey, hey I'm French in Annecy

This morning, I woke up at 7:30 a.m. (which if you know me, is a miracle), rented a bike from my hostel and biked around the lake alone. To be clear, this is the first time Gina and I have done anything separately. But she wanted to sleep in, and the area is so small and safe, I decided I would do it anyway. (And don’t worry all concerned parents reading this, we will never separate again.)

The scene was so peaceful and idyllic. I biked by store owners wiping down their windows, pulling their freshly baked baguettes from the oven and arranging their merchandise on the side of the road.

I biked by the canal that runs through the city and around just a portion of the lake (I only biked for 45 minutes). I stopped every so often to take in some of the scenery. Since it poured yesterday, the water was exceedingly tumultuous, and low dark clouds hovered ominously over the mountain tops.

Pretty but ominous...

But I wasn’t deterred by the clouds of goom and doom. Here I was, amongst the Alps on a beautiful morning feeling…kind of at home here.

That must seem strange considering we have been in Annecy all of two nights, but the two of us have managed to carve a niche for ourselves in each city and Annecy is no exception.

Gina and I met at the hostel after my ride and walked along the lake one last time before our noon train. We meandered through the shops, and eventually stopped at Bagels and Cupcakes, where we actually are regulars.

I buy a small cupcake a day (okay, okay, you’ve caught me, I bought a big one yesterday) and Gina buys a cookie a day. The guy is so nice and friendly and is always excited to see us. Well, I assume he is excited to see us considering he always smiles, but he speaks almost solely French, so our actual vocal communication is minimal.

We told him it was our last day, so he gave me my cupcake free and only charged Gina one euro for her cookie (that way he saved us both a euro). It was such a kind gesture, and I finished my delicate vanilla cupcake as Gina ate her final Snickers cookie. It was how we said goodbye to Annecy.

Me and my cupcake. A match made in confectionary heaven.

Speaking of free food, last night we received free dessert at the restaurant where we had cheese fondue (a French classic) for dinner. We don’t know why we received free dessert.

In fact, when the waiter told us he was giving us free dessert, skeptical Gina asked, “Why?” He retorted, “It’s free–you don’t need to ask questions.”

And who are we to question free desserts? All the waiters seemed to be in on it, and they would walk by and wink and murmur, “Bon Apetit!”

I ordered strawberry and vanilla ice-cream with fresh strawberry sauce. It was to die for. And Gina had caramel flan. I felt sort of giddy, like we were getting away with a small felony … free desserts! Don’t tell the other customers!

We had befriended an American couple sitting across from us, and when they saw what happened the woman exclaimed good-naturedly, “Youth! No one says, old woman would you like free ice-cream? Enjoy it!”

Enjoying myself in Annecy ... with arms a flailin'

And we did. In fact, we enjoyed our entire stay in Annecy. But onwards and upwards, to Basel, Switzerland!

With love from Annecy and almost Basel!



  1. I love Annecy its stunning and I felt so welcomed. I went there last August and fell in love with the beautiful bridges and the market stalls, and I think the cake shop in your picture may have been where I bought macaroons!

    • Thanks for commenting! And that’s crazy. I hope those macaroons were as life-changing as my cupcakes šŸ™‚

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