|We had a free day from hiking today. Off we all went by van to the town of Annecy, which is the capital of the Savoie region of France. This is a large town with a huge clean lake for sailing, paddleboating and boating. Annecy is known as the "venice of france" because of its canals lined with colorful arrangements of flowers and small shops selling their merchandise. We had 4 hrs to here to explore, have a nice lunch, and do some shopping. The park was filled with locals enjoying the start of their holiday with their children. Tomorrow night is their festival with a huge fireworks display on the lake. We saw the barges loaded with the fireworks. It was extremely warm in Annecy today..about 88 degrees. We enjoyed cold drinks at the local pub before leaving for Les Houches. In the evening we had an exquisite dinner at a restaurant that overlooked the Les HOuches and the Chamonix valley. My filet mignon was tender and tasteful and the dessert..some chocolate pudding cake like thing was to die for...our groups had a fantastic time together with many laughs at dinner.