I am currently sitting in my house and reminiscing about this past wonderful and spontaneous weekend. Desperate for some kind of adventure, our friend Fez wrote to her pen pal, whom she has been writing to for the past few years, about coming to stay with him in Annecy, which is in the Southeast part of France, in the Alps, and about 50 km from Switzerland. Pierre was more than welcome to have us, and after a dramatic and stressful Thursday of trying to find cheap train tickets, we found ourselves 100 euros poorer, but much satisfied with our purchases. Our first train left from Caen to Paris at 20h45 and arrived in Paris a little after ten. Our second overnight train left around 22h50 pm and arrived in Aix-en-Bains at 6h35 am. Taking the second class route we had inclined chairs to sleep on; it was basically like an airplane, though no one really cared about assigned seats. When we got up in the morning, Ryan, John, and Laci had a different ticket than us, and they got off at Cherbonne while Katie, Fez, and myself continued to the next stop. Unfortunately, we were quite confused an unable to see the sign for our stop, and we missed getting off the train. We rode the train to the next station and had to figure out where we were. Luckily we have our 12-25 (a discounted pass for trains for people between the ages of twelve and 25) and we only had to pay 3 euro for a new ticket. We took a train back to our original station to discover that our next train had already left; a lot of people missed the train, so the station provided us with a coach bus to Aix! We finally made it to Aix and got onto our final connecting train and arrived in Annecy around 9h30 on Saturday morning. It was a long but satisfying journey. While we waited for Pierre and Stephan we ate in the café. We were all tired and exhausted, but the view of the mountains was breath-taking.
Pierre and Stephan arrived at the train station, and we all exchanged bisous. We split up into the two separate cars and made our way to Pierre’s house, where all six of us shared a bedroom the size of a dorm room (with one double bed and marble floors sans carpet). However, none of us were going to complain about free lodging. We drank coffee and put on the snow gear that they let us borrow, and headed for the slopes. Before skiing we stopped at Stephan’s house, who has the most beautiful view of Annecy. He lives right behind the lake and the mountains; it’s literally something you would see in a movie. We took a few photos and finally hit the town. We were all starving so we ate at a Kebab and FINALLY arrived. We were all so excited to say we actually skied in the Alps. Fez, Laci, and Katie had never skied before! They hit the bunny slopes while John, Ryan, and I hit some of the more advanced hills. After much falling and a few rounds, John finally convinced Ryan and me to come up to the top hill on the chair lift. It was a long ride, almost 10 minutes. We were about 1,000 meters in the air (5,527 feet), and the few was AMAZING! It also snowed, so that made it even prettier! We did the hill three times, and it took us about 20 minutes to descend each time because it was so steep and hard! and we were also scared, and we were taking photos. but all around it was so much fun. We left after a few hours and headed back to Pierre’s house for a soirée. (Did I forget to mention that skis were only 7,50 euro and a lift ticket was only 8,50 euro?
When we got back we put our comfy clothes on and chilled by the fire and drank wine and played piano. John and I did a “Mad World” duet. Eventually some of the friends of Pierre arrived and we ate a delicious dinner! It was very cool and interesting, we each got a mini pudgy pie thing that we put slices of cheese in, and then insert it into a heater which was placed at the center of the table! You melt the cheese and then put it all over your potatoes…yum!! The soirée dragged onto the morning, and the five of us decided to hit the hay around 3 am…even though the party was still going strong.
On Sunday we went into the town and walked around the lake (did you know it’s the cleanest water in the world!?) We eventually made it to Centre Ville and found a place to eat (with a student discount…gotta love Europe for that!) Because it was Sunday a lot of things were closed, but it was nice to just walk around. We went into a museum and saw a castle as well. Eventually we had to head back to Pierre’s house so he could drive us to the train station on Sunday night. Our train left at 22h50 for Paris. We all found seats and slept, or at least tried. I think I may go for the beds (couchettes) next time. We made it back to Caen at 10h20, just in time for my 10h40 class!
Overall the weekend was AWESOME! I’m so glad I can say that I’ve been skiing in the Alps! There are always risks to take while backpacking Europe, but hey it was totally worth it! (Fez had never met Pierre before this, so that was the only sketch part. But he turned out to be AWESOME, and now we all have a new French friend! Have a lovely week everyone!
Annecy- do you see me?
Skiing in the Alps
Skiing in the Alps
Dana, Ryan, John, Fez, Laci
The cleanest water in the world
In front of Steffon’s house
Greetings from Annecy !