Here’s the day two travel diary!
We woke up bright and early on our second day. We had plans to cross the border into France and take a day trip to the cute little city of Annecy which I’d been ogling at online during our holiday planning! We arrived at the station and to our horror, looked up at the countdown to realise that the next train to the city centre was around 40mins away! Sunday service!
Breakfast plans in town scuppered, we had a quick look around and a little Google on Mr Man’s phone to find that nothing nearby was open either. (As mentioned in my last post, most places in Geneva are closed on Sundays.) After a few moments of sighing and feeling sorry for ourselves, I caught a whiff of the scent of fresh baking. We followed my nose and realised there was a small shop / cafe, called Hubiz, on the platform!
To our joy, we found pastries, fresh out of the oven! We selected a Cailler pain au chocolat and a croissant along with a latte. The pain au chocolat was still warm, filled with gooey chocolate and roasted hazelnuts, with a perfect balance of flake to fluffiness. So, so good. The croissant was also pretty damn good, one of the best I’ve had I reckon. The coffee was better than yesterday’s at Le Flore. A better blend of beans I think, not sure really, I’m hardly a coffee connoisseur…
Stomachs satisfied, 40 minutes later, we were sat on the train to the city (Gare de Geneve Cornavin). We took a leisurely stroll over to the coach station, Gare Routiere, where bought a couple of return tickets to Annecy. These were priced at 60CHF, if I remember correctly, roughly £40. Also worth noting that Annecy is in France, and since we knew we intended to take a little day trip we’d exchanged money into Euros before we left… It was around an hour drive with plenty of stops, due to it being the slow, Sunday service. But the views were superb. It’s pretty tricky getting a good picture from a moving vehicle because of the glare, focus and just being too slow, but here’s a semi-decent one that I took anyway: The town seemed quite quiet initially…
We picked up a jar of organic mountain honey for Mr Man’s mum after sampling – loooovely! (Although, it got whisked off of us at airport security *cries* we completely forgot the no liquids deal!) We also sampled some cheese, delish! But decided against buying any as we didn’t want to lug it around in the heat + our hotel room didn’t have a fridge…
After wandering through the market, we stopped for a quick hot chocolate at Creperie du Chateau, (they only start serving crepes at midday which was slightly disappointing). Although it looks pretty, there was nothing remarkable about it, a powdered blend of something better than the usual Cadbury’s hot cocoa. Next stop was the Château d’Annecy, a castle / museum overlooking the lake. Tickets here were pretty cheap. Fiver each maybe. We arrived around 45mins before it was due to close up for the day, so we were forced to rush our way round the exhibits. Here’s a random selection of the pictures we took, there’s everything from a small aquarium in there to some magnificent artwork of the lake.
I absolutely adored the stain glass windows inside. So pretty! Hard to get a good picture of, but here’s my favourite: After exploring the inside of the museum, we walked round the back and found this magnificent view: Surreal. Waaah. Take me back. Unfortunately, the clock was ticking and closing time was nearing so with once last glance we pottered out to continue our exploring elsewhere. We followed the crowds and kept walking. How is this place so CUTE?! We stopped for an icecream at a little shop called Chez Poustache, opting for three scoops to share: hazelnut (always good), cinnamon (little bit grainy) and salted butter caramel (didn’t really have enough caramel for my liking…) All in all very enjoyable though.
We headed towards the lake and stumbled upon Palais de L’ile, a former prison on a little island in the canal:
I believe there’s also a small museum inside, but, I figured Mr Man had had enough of museums for this half of the year… Instead I just took a million pictures from the outside: We walked on and found ourselves at the lake. So beautiful! And the weather was also pretty magnificent. We started off thinking we’d just take a long walk but before long saw a couple of boat rental stalls and picked out a pedal boat – I think we paid for an hour which was more than enough, can’t really remember the price but it wasn’t too bad. I think reckon this was a close second to Mr Man’s fave part of our trip…
And turned a darker blue as we ventured further out into the deeper areas.
After returning to dry land, we found ourselves walking towards the park or, dans Francais: Jardins de L’Europe. (Is that even right?!)
Gorgeous tree-lined canal.
With our return coach departing soon, we started heading back to the station. We stopped at Chez Jean and spent the last of our euros on a sandwich meal to share. It was a little after lunch and so most of their selection had run out. We opted for a mozzarella and tomato sandwich with red pesto. Delicious creamy cheese, fresh juicy tomatoes and a generous helping of pesto. The only thing I’d change is to substitute basil for lettuce. To be honest, I didn’t have much hope for it but it was surprisingly enjoyable.
We also shared a delicious chocolate injected doughnut. The doughnut wasn’t too fresh but the chocolate was perfect, slightly dark and very thick.
Back in Geneva we were still hungry and so we opted for some street food. Not exactly authentic Swiss cuisine but I was surprised at how many different places sold kebabs and shawarma! We opted for the busiest place (Parfums de Beyrouth) on a street full of Lebanese joints, hoping that the crowds were there for good reason…
After a long stroll, we headed back to the hotel to drop off our bits and bobs and freshen up. Mr Man took a cheeky little nap (if you ask him what his favourite part of our trip is, he will grin and insist that it was said nap).
A couple of hours later we took another long walk in the city, before hunting out some dinner. Not many places were open but we stopped at a place called Pizzeria Da Paolo, and what a great find it was! The place was very busy, with every single table pretty much full. Nice ambience although a tad warm. Our waiter was attentive and helpful, even pre-empting that we’d want the English version of their menu.
Mr Man went for a banana concoction. I absolutely loathe bananas so I didn’t bother trying it but the chocolate shot that came with it on the other hand… That was amazing. Rich, smooth and warm. Yes please!
We continued our walk down the river, before crosing the bridge and heading back to the main station.