Monday, April 26, 2010

Provence: Day Six

Thursday, April 15

We got to sleep in till 8:30 this morning!!!  Then we packed up and headed out for Annecy a little further north.  Our roughly three and a half hour drive went smoothly, broken up by a quick rest stop to make some delicious sandwiches out of our market buys.  When we arrived we checked into another charming hotel up a steep hill and across the street from Lake Annecy, and being up so high offered a pretty nice view.  The lounge was stocked with leather sofas and boardgames, and seemed to have been made from a previously outdoor area, complete with rock wall.  Our room was small but cute, with a sloped top-floor ceiling and all wood furniture.

The walk down to the historic downtown (apparently, there's more than one downtown) took us along the lake's edge.  It was hazy across the lake, the mountains lost in some kind of dream, but it was lovely, and made me think about the Smoky Mountains where my parents now live.  We explored the town, up and down the central canal and back and forth along the streets.  It is a town of many shops and lots of travelers.

Dinner became the goal of the evening, and finding something to make up for the disappointing meal two days prior in Avignon.  (It was really awful.)  Where we ended up was as unassuming as any local dive, though it was nicer than one.  It was laid back and the guys working were friendly, smiling broadly at my attempts at French.  We decided to try something loved and something new, so I ordered up some more escargot and Chris had the onion soup.  We both ordered something called tartiflette, the local dish, and soon realized how evil and delicious French food can really be.

Holy greasy food heaven...this meal was the kind of meal you'd dream of after a night of drinking, but better.  To the instrumental music of Metallica, we dined.  The escargot was cooked Burgundy style, which apparently means floating in hot butter instead of resting in shells.  But the tartiflette...that was something of a different, wonderful kind.  In a small, personal stoneware baking dish waited layers of sliced potatoes mixed with sliced onions and small strips of bacon meat, appropriately called lard in French, then topped with slices of the local reblochen cheese, which of course melted down into the beautiful mess below.  Although not listed on the menu, we presume that butter was also a main ingredient, if not the first listed if this happy heart attack came prepackaged.  By the end, we were sweating butter.  And as if we hadn't indulged beyond reason, we ordered chocolate fondant.  But we're not animals; we split it, of course.  Is your chest hurting yet?

Even though we didn't even begin the day in Annecy until 3pm, we still managed to get in 15,056 steps.  Go us!

Palais de l'Isle jail

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