Weather: Hot and Sunny
Today we headed south to the town of Annecy located on Lake Annecy. Annecy ha a long history back to the Romans in the 1st century BC when it was known as Boutae. In the 11th century there was two towns Annecy-le-Neuf (New Annecy) and Annecy-le- Vieux (Old Annecy). The town became even more important from the 13th century onwards with the arrival of the Count of Geneva, the integration of the region of Genevois into the Duchy of Savoy and the creation, in 1514, of the appanage of Genevois. Today Annecy is still a major administrative centre for the region but also a popular holiday and tourist resort.
It was a beautiful day so we started our exploration of the town by walking the lakeshore. It was very hot but we were not moaning after the weather of the previous weeks. We decided we would stop for a drink but the only place we could find was the Imperial Palace Hotel which had been opened in 1913 and now a luxury hotel and casino. We knew it would not be cheap but 5.50Euros for a coffee and 12 Euros for a fresh orange juice was a little over the top but it was fantastic siting on their terrace with views over the lake.
After exploring the lakeshore, we then headed into the old town which had a series of canals. The town was very busy with tourists and yes it was old but nothing special.
On our return to the campground we stopped to explore the Ponts de la Caille two bridges crossing the Usses River. The first bridge, known as the Charles-Albert bridge, was commissioned by Charles Albert, King of Sardinia. It was built in Medieval Revival style and features two white crenellated towers at each end supported by two dozen cables. The bridge is 142 m high and 194 m in length. The bridge was inaugurated on 11 July 1839 by the King, and is one of the oldest suspension bridges still in use today and also one of the highest in France.
Parallel to the Charles-Albert bridge but in a very different in style, is the present road bridge known as “Pont Caquot” or “Pont Neuf” which was built in 1925 to replace the Charles Albert bridge. With a single fine arch spanning 138m over the Usses River it was, at the time of its inauguration, one of the longest single concrete span bridges in Europe.