Lessons from water: From Geneva to Annecy

Be fluid. Be adaptable. Flow around obstacles, ever so gently. Yet remember that you also have all the might of the stormy oceans within you, a strength that can swallow ships whole, a power that just needs to be acknowledged and, if necessary, liberated. The power to break-a-way, to follow your very own path, be it without, or indeed, within.

The storm from the night before is still casting its shadows, the waves on crystal-clear Lake Geneva are testimony to this. I feel the strong winds whipping against my face and almost blowing my purple beanie away. I hold on tighter to my beanie and myself, standing strong like a tree amidst the currents that swirl all around me, my gaze fixated on the crescent-shaped lake. It´s still so tumultuous out there that even the famous Jet D´Eau fountain, one of the city’s most famous landmarks, does not grace onlookers with its spectacle.

Morning musings in diplomatic surroundings

Lake Geneva, also known as Lac Léman, offers a pure pleasure paradise view: the majestic lake shared between France and Switzerland lures my thoughts away from the mundane and towards the transcendent with its unbelievably pristine waters and the Alps visible in the distance. The diplomatic hub Geneva´s watery playground gives me a tiny glimpse of the magnificence that I´ll be privileged to witness later in the day.

This day would be all about the holiest of live´s building blocks, the component that makes up up to 60 per cent of our bodies, the essence of life that nourishes us, cleanses us, and beckons us to immerse ourselves in it to refresh and purify ourselves and start afresh…

After admiring Lake Geneva and soaking up the interesting, kinda stern atmosphere of the diplomatic hub´s city center and the cobbled old town (I somehow can´t help but feel a vibe of “Don´t mess with me or I´ll haunt you with a massive paper trail”), it´s time for a stroll and a quick lunch. Fortunately, we stumble upon a perfect little eatery with healthy and delicious meals called Qibi which provides us with more than enough fuel to do a little window shopping and marvel at some sights.

Heading to a place of French watery magic

We had also eyed off visiting major sights like the Temple de St-Pierre (cathedral of St. Pierre) or the Palais de Nations (United Nations headquarters, a center of world diplomacy). Somehow, though, we feel a stronger pull towards our new destination – I had just recently learned about Annecy in a travel guide book on France, and the sound of it had sounded too darn magnifique to be true! While the mesmerizing Swiss-French landscapes with their imposing mountains irradiated an undeniable power that could be witnessed through the car window, my thoughts seemed to merge with the promise of the upcoming travel chapter. Again and again, some long-ago read quotes on the magic of water crossed my mind:

“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.” — Kahlil Gibran

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” — Isak Dinesen

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” — Lao Tzu

Why is it that we tend to long so passionately for the ocean, the lakes, the rivers of the world? Is it because it´s where we can reunite with the essence of our true home, where we can wash off the density and stagnation of the world and become one again with our innocent, radiant, and eternal selves? Might places of water offer us ways to make our light shine again and sparkle with a renewed hope of trust and faith?

Falling in awe in Annecy

Be it as it may, Annecy would, in any case, bring me closer to the awe and reverence towards life that radiant natural settings ignite. After dropping our luggage at the hotel and having a little nap, we made our way down towards the primordial reason for our detour. So there we were, unsuspectingly driving through a cute French city and suddenly… an INCREDIBLE panoramic view appeared on the horizon. Was I excited? You bet I was – I was freaking spell-bound!! Completely enthralled, just like in-the-first-throes-of-romantic-love, or when just about to open your favorite package of snacks. I mean, snacks!!

Anyways, back to the bluer-than-blue, any-painter-would-die-to-stand-in- front- of- this- view. Picture the Caribbean ocean, just casually set in the middle of a French town, and surrounded by the commanding Alps. Pretty darn cool, hey? By the way, Annecy is just a one-hour drive away from Montblanc, at 4810 meters the second-highest mountain in the whole of gorgeous Europe. So yeah, that type of Class A mountain excellence was dotted all around Lac Annecy, creating a sublime contrast of rock and strength to the clear waters of le lac (the lake).

Exploring le lac: From urban beaches to aviaries

Once we had arrived at our destination, we started leisurely meandering along its shore and taking in the indescribable beauty of the place. Lake Annecy, which for any curious geography-nerds out there, is located in the Haute-Savoie region of France, is fed by mountain springs and known for its clean water, which we got to marvel at for hours. After a while, our stomachs started to object to endless walks with no French food supply. There seemed to be something of a French siesta thing going on, though, as all the restaurants we headed to were closed for the early afternoon. What´s a hungry girl to do? Raid the nearest supermarket, of course!

So off we went to a charming little supermarche where we got to indulge in buying some excellent local produce and more. Did I mention that in France, EVERYTHING tastes delightful, bursts with flavors, and feels like a soft embrace of your tastebuds? Yes, every single item we tasted soon afterward on our impromptu-picnic tasted “formidable” (fantastic), and that included packaged supermarket-salads! Go figure. French Savoir Vivre in action, right?

Btw, there are a few cute urban beaches and many more things to discover around the lake, such as lovely pleasure boat rides in summer. Inviting waterfront restaurants and wine bars offer lake views, the scent of fresh mountain spring water, and relaxed dining. At its north end, Annecy has a cute medieval old town with canals and bridges called “Annecy-Le-Vieux” – the perfect spot to end our excursion for the day.

Lovely people, stay tuned for my next post, which will be VERY different to anything shared so far on A Gypsy at Heart. I am super-excited to be kicking off a whole new side to sharing for you – think fun, excitement, guests, and more! Will you join me?

Back to you, dear reader: What is your favorite watery destination and why? How exactly does that place make you feel? As always, I would love to hear from you:) Stay well, wild, and curious.

Categories: Posts in English, Reiselust- Hungry for travel, Reisen | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

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34 thoughts on “Lessons from water: From Geneva to Annecy

  1. What a beautiful post Maria. Not only the beauty of the lakes, mountains, and contrasts, but your passion is bubbling up like a fine champagne! Water feeds my soul too and it has been far too long since I’ve been to a large natural body of water. Clearly, you know how to enjoy life. Lake Mary in Glacier National Park was the most beautiful blend of clear waters, mountains in the background, and summer wildflowers in the foreground. A photographer’s delight for which I sadly have no picture!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for your wonderfully encouraging words, Brad! What a beautiful thing to say “bubbling up like a fine champagne”, wow, thanks a lot my friend. So happy you enjoyed this! Love your travel tip here – Lake Mary in Glacier National Park sounds really picture perfect! A gorgeous destination to add to a future travel list. Thanks and hugs:)


  3. Ah Maria Helena… what a beautiful write up and photos… I never went to Annecy when living in Geneva and now I wish I had… it looks so pristine the photos are postcard perfect… you are right about the diplomatic streets of Geneva, there is a sense of not messing with it! Gosh you make me miss travel… I still optimistically have plans to see friends in Geneva in December… but who knows these days 😭… looking forward for your next post dear 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello dear, thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback! So glad you enjoyed the post, photos, and that you feel inspired and reconnected to your love of travel! This is a big lesson in patience and inward-focusing for all of us I feel… fingers crossed massively for your trip to Geneva in December! Thanks again, your wonderful comment brought a big smile to my face 🙂 Wishing you a beautiful day! Big hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Namrata Bordoloi

    Hello Maria. I loved your post. It reminded me of my visit to Geneva and Annecy. I’m glad that you enjoyed your visit. I sure did when I was there. The sights and food are a treat. Hope to read more of your travels and adventures. Till then, keep travelling, keep exploring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Namrata, thanks so much for taking the time to read, comment, and follow. Its so wonderful to have you here:) How lovely that you have been able to check out Geneva and Annecy for yourself! Isn´t Lake Annecy just the most mesmerizing lake ever? Thanks again for your charming and heartfelt comment, dear. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Namrata Bordoloi

        I agree….lake Annency is quite mesmerizing! Annency is one of my favourite places. Thanks for replying. It’s nice to hear from you. You too have a great weekend ahead!😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Namrata:) Its truly a pleasure to have you here! I agree, Annecy is one of my favorite ever places, too. Take care dear:)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Querida amiga!!your painting is ready.but it is not more beautiful than your real beautiness.❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh!!! You are so sweet mere pyari dost Aruna, I am out of words!! Thank you a million times both for your general sweetness and kindness, and for this incredible gesture of friendship! You are honestly leaving me speechless. Feeling humbled. So much love meri yaan ❤❤❤❤


      • Arey yaar!!that is not more beautiful than you.i will make it again in new style as most attractive,you can not imagine.it is your kindness that you liked my painting.it will justice with your real beauty if i make it again.right?Muchas love and big hugs,Querida amiga.xoxoxo👰💝💕💝💕💕💕💖

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful lessons from water.enchanting post.i like all photos and quotes specially of Khalil Jibraan.Really this world is most beautiful so the life is too beautiful.your post inspires me to go abroad of India but that is not in my luck.i see your post and feel as going on trip by me.muchas love and big hugs,Querida amiga.xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Aruna, it´s so wonderful to hear that you enjoyed this post:) I love it so much to assist you in traveling virtually – anything is possible in our imagination, right my friend? You are absolutely right, this world and life is of INCREDIBLE beauty and worth! So happy to hear you enjoyed. Much love, bahut bahut dhanywaad querida amiga!! Love ya ❤❤❤


      • Enjoy yaar,and let me enjoy your trip.you are really lucky to wander everywhere.and i am lucky that i enjoy your trip’s experiences.😊😊😊🤗🤗🤗🤗muchas love and big hugs(aa gale lag ja ) i think -our friendship is a result of our last(previous) birth as in Hindu religion beliefs.this relation is too with drew.oh remembered,drew has 10,000 followers.please,send him congratulations by email.love ya💕💕💕💕💕💕

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Cara mia, what a beautiful post you’ve treated us to, such a fabulous story you’ve weaved. You are truly a captivating writer. And I couldn’t agree more, there’s something utterly primal and soul nourishing about being around water. I know that when we camp it’s usually around a river, lake or sea as there’s nothing more mesmerising and relaxing.
    Loved all your gorgeous pics, Annecy looks spectacular. And your humour and personality always shines through. Ahh, the mention of MontBlanc brought back wonderful memories.
    Thank you for once again transporting me with your beautiful storytelling Maria. Truly magnifique my friend!!! Stay happy and inspired beautiful. Big hugs and lots of love from me.
    xxx 💕🌹❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ciao querida, grazie tanto for your fabulous feedback! It´s always such a treat (and I mean like Italian treat, think Pizza in Rome, or gelato in Firenze 😃) to hear from you my friend. Thank you tantisimo for all your absolutely delicious compliments, they mean a lot! So so happy you enjoy my writing, that´s truly all we can ask for as writers, right? 🙂 So thank you from my heart to yours! Annecy is indeed spectacular – oh wow, did you head to MontBlanc? That must have been awe-inspiring, hey? Sending you molto amore and hugs, a presto cara 💕🌹❤️


  8. Beautiful! Water is the healing gift we often take for granted. But you remind me to appreciate it every day and of why blue is my favorite color! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That view! Oh my.
    Loved my travel interlude with you dear Maria. Big, big hugs to you. 🌺 🌸 💐 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Loved visiting this part of the world. The view across the lake is to die for. I have only been on the Swiss side but it was nice to know that if I had crossed into France, the food would not have disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Amanda, thanks so much for your beautiful feedback! It´s wonderful that you got to experience this fantastic place first hand. Yes, French food never disappoints i find. I hope you are well over there in lovely Queensland 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is winter here in Queensland and the best time to be here. Glorious days and cool, fresh nights. Down south there is more trouble from Corona, but up in the north, we are holding our own. I hope you are doing okay too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds really lovely, glad to hear – wish I could visit right now! I am very happy to hear you are well and things are kinda calm where you live. Yes, I am okay, thanks so much:) Just cultivating patience for calmer times and making the best of it… Blessings


  11. You are truly a gypsy at heart, Maria. You are looking so beautiful and lovely. Awesome and excellent photographs of this beautiful and wonderful places. Thank you so much for this fantastic share.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Storming through Switzerland with Jung, Rösti, and Mary Poppins | A gypsy at heart

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