Dec 26 2018

The Annecy Experience

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 19:23

After moving to the UK I haven’t strayed too far from my Edinburgh, because here I did not know or trust anybody to leve my cat with. So obviously I could not be gone more than 24 hours from my home. But I had to do it sometime so when I found a very cheap ticket to Annecy, France I just got the ticket, got the hotel and started looking for a pet sitter. Thankfully I had a colleague that had a cat as well and when he left on vacation for two weeks he tested a new pet sitter which turned out to be amazing so he recommended her to me as well. And she is indeed amazing and my cat loves her.  So there I was, money – check,  holiday taken from work – check, pet sitter-check. I was ready for my three days of fun in Annecy.

I was in was in Annecy previously, in 2015 with a group of friends and I knew exactly where I was going and what I was going to do. What I did not plan for was me having a sprained knee. Because on Wednesday, the 28th of NovemeberI managed to sprain my knee while playing football. As a consequence my knee swelled up, doubled in size and I could not bend my knee at all and could not put much weight on it. Basically I was dragging my foot while walking. If you think I postponed my trip, you’re dead wrong. I waited for this trip for two months, no way I was going to let a sprained knee to mess it up.

I’ve never had a sprained anything in my life. I had no idea what to do about it. I was happy my foot was not broken, took some pain pills and put some ointment and I went to the bus station next to my house to take the bus to the airport. The bus station is really close. Usually  the walk to it is 1 minute long. When I was dragging the dead weight of a full leg it became 5 minutes. I was contemplating this in the bus station while freezing my ass off, because I was considering going back into house, but I was too scared I will move too slow and miss the next bus and the plane.

Looking back, I should not have been worried, the plane was one hour late and the gate changed two times which lead me to drag my dead leg through the airport twice. Luckily on the plane, I was able to switch chairs with a very nice man and rest my leg on the outside of the chair while keeping it strainght, because bending it caused me a lot of pain.

The plane landed in Geneva one hour late, so my bus to Annecy was long gone. Luckily the same passenger that changed seats with me offered to take me to a hotel nearby. His name is Peter and he is the kindest person I’ve met in a while.  In the hotel the receptionist noticed my leg and gave me a room for disabled people. I never been more thankful in my life. The whole room was fool of handles to help somebody with a disability around the place. They came out in handy for me too.

The next morning I took the first bus to Annecy and when I got there I started walking towards the hotel. From what I remembered, Annecy was not big, so walking there shouldn’t have been a problem, at least not under normal ciscumstances. But these were not normal circumstances, weren’t they? So the 20 minute walk, became a one hour walk. On the way I kept thinking of the Dr. House movie and his sexy walking canes and became quite enchanted with the idea of getting myself a cane.  Fortunately on my way I stumbled upon a pharmacy, that had a perfect view to thier selection of canes, so I went directly in and got one. I really, really wanted to buy a classy, sexy decorated wood walking cane, but the nice young man at the counter realized I had no idea what I am doing and he brought me a telescopic cane with suppot for the lower half of my hand so I could have more balance. He showed me how to use it and spared me 30 Euros in the process. Because this cane was way cheaper than the sexy one and more practical, as it could be adjusted to my height. And thus I walked the rest of the way to my hotel. And on the way there I realized that Annecy was so little, that the hotel was in the next town, called Seynod. The two towns were only separated by one street and the hotel was named Zenitude Hôtel-Résidences Les Hauts d’Annecy, so you can understand how I could choose a hotel so poorly located. So, one hour later I was at the hotel. I just left my stuff, changed my clothes –  I was astonished at the effort it takes to walk with a sprained knee and a cane, astonished and soaking wet from sweating – and then headed back to the center of the town, to the that St. Andrews fare, because that is why I was there mainly.

I missed the fare, because by the time I dragged myself over there rain started and everybody was paching up for the day. So, no stinky cheese and meat tasting, no racclette, no nothing. Oh well, no problem, I told myself, I’ll just go visit the castle, becase the last time I was there the castle was closed. So, I drag myself up the hill, I reach the castle to find the damn thing closed again. The ridiculous thing is that if you look at thier schedual it said it should be opened. No worries, at least a notice said that the castle is open and free to visit on every first Sunday of every month, so I will be going then. I dragged my ass down the hill and just went to the Christmas market. I had some awesome mulled wine and a stinky cheese pretzel and walked along the lake for a while, until it started raining. I walked some more in the rain and then headed to the hotel. The walk to the hotel was so long I basically started talking to my self and swering the part of me that got herself into this. This was until I found a supermarket. I got lost in there analysing all the specialities of cheese and ended up leaving there with two types of delicious cheese, a big bag of grapes (because this is the perfect accompaniament for cheese) and two boxes of tea. Yeah, I know, my UK side was showing. I got back to the hotel at 06:00 pm, had a bath and ended up sleeping until 10:00 am the next day. Being in pain took its toll on me.

Next day, it was a suny day, so I used it to walk futher up along the Annecy lake. Later I cam back to the Christmas market to enjoy a little more mulled wine, some melted cheese in a baguette and some exquisite macarons. For dinner I had a medium rare beef steak, or at leaset that what I asked for. But because I was in France, medium rare means soemthing else here. The steak was so raw I could almost hear it mooing.

Anyway, if you were wondering how much distance a person can walk with a cane and a sprained knee allow me to surprise you: 5.8 miles one dayo on 7.8 on the other. Never got to see the castle though, because on Sunday it was closed again. It’s like these people just do not want to make money from that castle.  So Sunday was a short day, because since I could not see the castle, there was nothing else to do, especially since it was raining heavily. So my day was basically: go to the city center, get soaking wet, go back to the hotel and sleep a lot.

I could call this my worst vacation ever, but then again, I drank fancy wine, ate fancy cheese and enjoyed the perfect view of this small mountain city. Sure, all  this involved me dragging my ass everywhere using a walking cane, but then again, there are people in this world with even more serious disabilities that still manage to enjoy life, so I had no excuse. The gallery below contains my favorite pictures that I took on this trip. Enjoy!

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Stay safe, stay happy!

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