Near Annecy sunbathing on the lake

Sunbathing on the lake near Annecy.

Lyon, Pérouges, and Chambéry

view of Alps, near Annecy

View of Alps after leaving Annecy

View of Alps, near Annecy

Up in the high valleys of the Alps


Second city of France
Great city astride Rhône and Saône
Climb the Bastille Fort
Feel the rigor of its splendor
Or go deep into the 100 traboules
Hidden passageways each with a secret to tell
In the old city and the slopes of Croix-Rousse
Can you hear the thunder of voice and fist
Of the striking workers (canuts) exploited in the silk mills?
Feel his humor, his life laid bare, with guts and lewdness
In the Guignol theater, where he was the protagonist
Mr Punch that pulled the punches.
Experience this manikin soap,
With Madelon, his stingy, whining wife,
And his friend Ganafron his drunk, slight, but boastful sidekick.
In this city of industry, of life,
In St Jean Cathedral, gape at the high vaulted nave
The shimmering stained glass (much 13th century)
Stand outside find the Guignol theater, laugh at the antics
Of politicians old and new.


How the workers, the weavers, must be jealous
The village restored, with flower boxes
Arts and crafts, ready for idyllic photographs
Shot in many a film as the medieval village
Fortified city, church, palace, - where is the knight in shining armor?
Busy in Summer, well worth visiting
Breathe in its delights, tasting a meal, or supping on sumptuous red wine.


“I am a person who needs fast-flowing streams, rocks, fir trees, and dark forests, mountains, rough paths to clamber up and down, and awe-inspiring precipices. I found all of these things as I drew near to Chambéry.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions.

Close to Chambéry visit Les Charmettes, the country house of Madame de Warens,
Where Rousseau lived the idyllic life from 1736-1742.
In town he probably would wander down the warren of passages,
That are still pleasant to get lost in, called the trajes near the Place St Léger.
Stand in front of La Fontaine des Eléphants honoring the Comte de Boigne,
Who made his millions from the Indies, and
Spent it on the fine buildings that front the street that carries his name.
This is the capital of what was a country in its own right - Savoy.
A country that once owned Turin, and Geneva,
Made its money from travellers and commerce into Italy
From Champagne, the Germanic countries, and the South of France.

Visit Grenoble - Capital of the Alps