After two weeks driving around the French and Italian Alps, we stopped in Annecy for a spot of sightseeing and relaxation. Annecy was perfect for both, being on the serene shores of Lake Annecy and full of historic architecture. One such historic icon is the Palais de l’Isle, a castle in the middle of the Thiou Canal. It was built in the 12th Century as the residence for the Lord of Annecy, but has since been used as a court house, a mint, and lastly a prison, most recently in WWII. Now it is a museum hosting historical displays. Huge wooden doors with ironwork and small crooked steps leading up to the turrets set you back in time, and history oozes out of the old stone walls.
As a former competing cyclist the lure of the French Alps drew us there in 2009 for a more relaxed driving holiday within Europe. Alongside driving the old military roads on the Italian border and the highest accessible point in Europe I wanted to drive some of the Tour de France main mountain passes in the region. The col de Bonnette, col de Parpilon, Col de Izord etc.
This photo is from the top of the Col de Iseran in late August. There is a TDF Museum here also but it was closed when we arrived as it was late in the season.