It Has to Be the Most Beautiful Lake I Have Ever Seen
I arrived in Germany and then on the same day on Italy on July 19, 2013. It was a good flight. Lydia, Gabriel, Gaia and Carys were all waiting for me at the gate. What a beautiful sight! We were here, at their home in Andezanno for some days: getting me over the "jet lag," shopping, Church at the English Speaking Church of Torino on Sunday, primping and pampering Butter Cup, getting her properly designated with the State to travel the roads of Europe, then packing her up, hitching her on and heading out for a wonderful campground near the old and beautiful City of Annecy.
Butter Cup is the name of Lydia and Gabriel's 1976 small camper. She's been well cared for through the years by previous owners. Her new owners are the best yet. We put my tent inside, loaded up everybody's gear and headed through the mountains. The Alp Mountains turn south, more or less, at the west end of Switzerland and head for the sea between Italy and France. Praise the Lord for money and engineers who were willing and had the insight to push the many tunnels through the bottom of the thousands of feet high mountains.
All in about four or five hours Gabriel had driven the car pulling Butter Cup to the wonderful campground. Our parking, camp site was nearest the shower house as possible. There were already dozens of campers and more arrived ever day. The month of August is vacation month in Europe. Some years ago an old couple, maybe not so old then, turned their farm into this campground. It's really a beautiful location. It sets in the middle of a valley, about midway between mountains. They range between 1600 and 2000 feet in height. The valley might be a mile wide and a couple miles wide.
Around the area of the camp site, beyond the borders of the farm, are a couple or three small French housing settlements. Those are all so beautiful in their very old architecture.
About every other day of the week we drove into Annecy. I'll guess the lake to be thirty miles long and a half-mile or less wide. The water seems more blue than the sky. It is said to be the cleanest lake in France, and very easy to see the bottom in most places out from shore.
Because it is vacation time, there are all kinds of festive atmosphere. Tonight they were having their annual fireworks displays. It must have been a sight to behold. We needed to come away and be back in Torino tonight, so we missed it. As we walked beside the lake, we could see the electric lines and lights, etc., all floating in the planned shore side. There were huge grandstands and lake side chairs set, 20 in a row, 5 rows deep and there must have been three or four blocks of those chairs. We heard that the price for the chairs ran from 10 € to 50 € each.
Thursday we drove to the town of Thones, pronounced "Tone." They were having daytime play grounds in the streets. A couple blocks had been closed: the most strange bicycles were circling round being ridden by young and old, wooden games from ancient times were attempted by all ages, and there was the four seat Ferris Wheel. The only metal part was the axle through the middle. Two people helped with the loading of the seats, which were very much like our porch swings. Two men stood on a platform, one on each side, to assist in turning the wheel. There was no motor. Children and or adults all rode together. To stabilize balance, they added a bag of sand for weight, if necessary. Once the new seats of riders were safely seated and balanced, the wheel turned pretty much by perpetual motion, with only a nudge now and again.
Yesterday afternoon following a shopping trip to town, we visited the Menthon Castle. It's owners have maintained it for centuries. This is renowned for St. Bernard, who was born there in 1008 and became famous for the hospitals he started throughout the Alps and the St. Bernard dogs he developed to help with the rescue of injured and lost travelers.