Day 9 Hautervies


The next leg of our journey would take us to the village of Annecy, our base camp for the French Alps. This would be our home for the next two days as we explored the area and made our way to Chamonix.


Before arriving in Annecy, we took a side trip south to something I had discovered on the Internet, Le Palais Idéal de Ferdinand Cheval. In 1879, the Postman Cheval began this strange endeavor in his garden from the odd stones he stumbled upon during his daily rounds. To augment the stones, he used various shells including snails and oysters, all assembled with lime mortar.


Working alone, it took 33 years to complete. Every inch of the unique structure was decorated with unusual ornamentations, figures of plants and strange animals. The image on the web site showed two men in front, now obviously inserted with Photoshop, giving the illusion it was a massive castle. In reality, it turned out to be the size of a very large. I was fascinated by it’s intricate designs, and to Jared’s dismay, I took an enormous amount of pictures. After our viewing, since the day had become extremely hot, we opted for ice cream and the soothing coolness afforded by our air-conditioned car. We bid au revoir
to Hautervies and resumed our three-hour journey to Annecy.


Annecy is located at the base of the Alps on the shores of Lake Annecy. This medieval village is a prime tourist town with lots of shops and marvelous food and quaint accommodations. Our hotel, should I say motel was not in that league. It was 10 minutes out of town and though clean, the smallest room I had ever stayed the night. The bed barely in fit the cramped courters and the bathroom, with the shower, were no larger than a closet. The weather was in the 90’s and our hotel did not provide any AC. We quickly headed for Annecy for an afternoon of food and photography, not wanting to return to our room till the night air had cooled it a little. Tomorrow morning we would travel to Chamonix.

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