The lake of Annecy is known to have one of the purest water reservoirs in the world due to its perialpine location and the region’s very strict implementation of environmental laws. Visiting the lake indeed proves that with high regard for environmental protection, man and nature can exist together. The lake is so clear and spotless that even in most of its deep points, one can already see the lakebed. It is also surrounded by mountains with spectacular rock formations, picturesque towns and tiny castles that bear testament to how the opulent have enjoyed its natural beauty through the ages. Even the famous post-impressionist painter Paul Cezanne couldn’t help but be inspired by the beauty of the lake as seen in his opus Le Lac Bleu in 1896.
The city of Annecy hosts most of the commerce although several other towns dot the lake banks serving as famous vacation locations for French people and tourists alike. Annecy’s medieval town center introduces one to the lifestyle of the people who once dominated the area with cobblestone streets and well-preserved, colorful shabby buildings which show a merge of French, Swiss, and Italian influences. The other towns are composed of vacation and fishermen houses as well as camping sites with access to hiking and biking trails offering impressive views of the lake and its protected wildlife. Paragliding is also a famous activity by the mountains. While on a river cruise, my attention was completely caught by the paragliding daredevils scattered across the towering rock formations like playful birds. Someday, given ample time and resources, I would really love to try this extreme sport here as I believe the bird’s-eye view of the lake would surely be even more surreal. In winter, the mountains also host ski and other snow sports and in the summer, the lake is teeming with extreme water sports.
Indeed, there is so much to France than its big glorious cities. The French countryside is totally a huge contrast from the extravagance of Paris and is really worth the escape for those who would want to be exhilarated by the thrill of enjoying well-preserved natural wonders.