France on Fridays: Choix d’un Pas Plus Lent

Choosing a Slower Pace • Sunday, June 11

In the morning, we make our way to breakfast in a dining area not at all unfamiliar. No linen table cloths or fine china as in Honfleur or Paris. This is a Best Western, for sure, with a food-court ambiance as example. Or perhaps it is my mood…

I am tired and ambivalent this morning. I put a mix of food on my plate, rather unenthusiastically, and sit across from DeLinda at our table. I stare blindly in front of me.

“Are you OK?” she asks, sensing something from my expression.

“I am…” I attempt, before tears appear.

“Oh, honey,” she says calmly, “you need some sleep.”

At barely 9 a.m., we go back to the room and lie down. I am asleep before thinking, and do not wake until noon. She was right.

Rested, finally, we wander into Annecy. In this city, there is the bustling newer area of town, and then Old Annecy. It is here that we spend the next two days.

Old Annecy is lined with cobblestone. Through the center, the Thiou Canal divides the pastel colored buildings, and small bridges lead you here and there down secret walks and narrow halls. Shuttered windows, open in the summer air, overlook shops and cafés lining the streets, and all roads lead out toward Lac D’Annecy at the base of the Alps.

This afternoon, Old Annecy is excited with activity. An outdoor market offers up fresh cheese and produce and handmade crafts. We wander for hours, enjoying fresh fruit glacés, stopping for lunch and drinks and some shopping before heading back to the hotel.

At 17 o’clock, we shower and change and make our way back to Old Annecy. Our restaurant of choice closed, we find a small bistro near the canal and dine on fresh seafood. My fish, sautéed in butter, is exquisite, though memory fades all other details of our night out.

• • •

Les Deux Amis En France, ©2011 Jen Payne. All rights reserved.

See also:
C’est La Vie
La Plus Longue Journée
À Travers La Ville
Petits Oeuvres D’art
Escalier au Ciel
Plus Escaliers et Alors Nous Arrêtons
Le Voyage de la Route!
Les Américains
Saints et Soldats
Tapisserie et Tripe
Sur La Route Encore
Visions de Monet et des Montagnes

Photos ©2011, Jen Payne, DeLinda Fox.

8 thoughts on “France on Fridays: Choix d’un Pas Plus Lent

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  1. yummy – and that goes for the food and the photographs! these, i think, are my favorite photos so far (i just love all the colors and people and streets and houses and windows and trees!) i’m glad you spent two days there – and finally got the rest you needed!

  2. Twice — once long long ago, when I was overwhelmed by the curious hypnotic blue of the lake and the many beauties of this “pleasure city” — of which you show an excellent sampling.

    The second time was already perhaps 15 years ago, but is still vivid. We arrived in April, April! to find that a freak snowstorm had engulfed the spring flowers — the pansies would and did survive, but many of the other flowers did not. We spent some time on the trail of St. Francis de Sales and his good friend St. Jane de Chantal. I have a special feeling for this bishop-saint because of something he once said:
    Do not be discouraged because you are discouraged.
    This has been one of the great mantras of life for me. One layer of feeling is enough; it doesn’t have to be doubled by what we choose to lay on top of it!
    Do not be angry because you are angry; do not be afraid because you are afraid, etc.

    Perhaps it isn’t self-evident, perhaps it’s only me it speaks to so strongly, but speak strongly it does, and I am eternally grateful to this St. Francis. The more famous one from Assisi is very kind and nice and good, but Annecy’s St. Francis is my main man.

    1. What a wonderful story of St. Francis (de Sales) – thank you for sharing!

      An no, I get it – do not be discouraged because you are discouraged. It is similar to a moment of realization I had a couple months ago: I can keep walking in this painful thought or I can just stop the thought and walk.

      Discouragement, anger, fear…it just feeds on itself. And as you say: one layer of feeling is (quite) enough.


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