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Anna is currently in Auckland.

Alpine Anna :-)
Hi everyone! So I know I'm 5 days behind, and I haven't detailed ANYTHING about my last two days ont he Cote D'Azur, or my time in Avignon, but just to let you all know I'm currently in Marnaz, a pretty little town in a glacier-gorged valley in the French Alps. My friend Natalie is an au pair here, and is able to trip across to Italy (1 hour away) and Geneva (30 minutes away) very easily :-) I'm just jealous! It was so good to catch up with her and talk to someone I know again!

Also, much to Natalie's disappointment, the area has had a drop in temperature and a big dump of snow, but I'm loving it... how often do you get to go from 36° to 6° in a few hours? The snowy landscape here is also very different to what I've seen in New Zealand; instead of vast volcanic landscapes, the hills are covered in dark pine trees, and as its spring everything is fresh and clean and feels like an advertisement for room freshener. Natalie has been driving me up through beautiful villages, all with heidi-style chalets of stone and dark wood, and window boxes of red geraniums. So many times we've turned a corner to a street that looks like a Disneyland theme park, and it's hard to reconcile in my mind that these are working villages, with families that have lived here for generations, and the new houses are built the same as the quaint old ones purely because they function so well.
So in the last day and a half I have seen Geneva and it's towering Jet D'Eau, and a pretty little medieval walled town on Lac Laman (Lake Geneva) called Yvoire. I've sat in a deafeningly silent chapel in a pristine self-sufficient Carmelite convent called Le Reposoir (a 12th century building that became a convent in the 15th century... ridiculously old) where the nuns live in an order of silence, and sat down to a proper meal with a french family. I've stomped about like a kid in the most freshest of powdery snow I've ever seen, then visited Chamonix, one of the most major of the ski resort towns, in the heart of the French Alps. I've been to the very foot of Mont Blanc, and seen my first ever real live glacier. I've been across the border into a new country twice (Switzerland and back, two times in 2 days), and seen an excellent Picasso exhibition in Martigny, Switzerland. I've eaten praline glace (icecream), and for lunch today, savoury crepes filled with bacon, raclette cheese and potato, a typical alpine combination.
And to top it all off, Natalie and I treated ourselves to a michelin-recognised restaurant meal tonight, where we had a rich four course feast, of a gazpacho shot with foie gras and blueberry creme brulee, an entree of quail and foie gras salad, a main of wine-soaked pigeon for me and prune-stuffed rabbit for Natalie, and then rich chocolate truffle cake and a mille feuille (creamy pastry concoction) stuffed with berries and fruit of the forest sorbet to finish. Accompanied by a sweet sparkling local wine from a vineyard called Ayze.
How to top that??!!!
Posted on 29 May 2007 by Anna
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