Add to Technorati Favorites expat Abu Dhabi Dispatches: Summer Escape from Abu Dhabi....Part 2

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Escape from Abu Dhabi....Part 2

Settled in my room, I enjoyed a hot shower and  "air dried" out on the balcony in the fresh, clean Alpine air. Anna-Lou called and I met her downstairs at noon. She drives a unique car, the Renault Kangoo, a strange looking but very functional vehicle.

Renault Kangoo file photo, (Rudolf Striker)

At one time, France imported cars into the U. S. One could purchase Renaults, Peugeots, and Citroens. For some reason, the cars didn't hold up well in the hot American environment and long, high speed interstate distances so the French cars fell out of favor as being unreliable. Expensive imported parts and knowledgeable mechanics were hard to find. Anna-Lou's Kangoo was a diesel which makes more sense to me than the exotic electric hybrids being developed in Japan and the U.S. They all get the same mileage. Seems most cars in France are diesels.

However, one of the best cars I ever drove was a Citroen I had for two weeks in Britain. It had a clever pneumatic suspension system and I enjoyed playing with the lever that would raise and lower the car. It was quirky though, I once pulled a knob under the steering column at speed to adjust the steering wheel angle and the hood popped up! I almost ended up in a ditch. My fault, I failed to read the Driver's Manual!

Anna-Lou and I drove towards downtown to the city center. We parked some ways out to avoid the congestion. 

Tree Lined Road to Annecy

After we parked the Kangoo, we had about a 500 meter walk to the city center. I found this surprise in an alley on the way.

Vintage Jeep

As the owner of a modern Jeep Wrangler, It was interesting to see how the original shape has not changed that much after 70 years. This one was preserved very well. I have owned MGBs, Ford Mustangs, Saab 900s, Volkswagen Beetles, Porsche 914's  and even  Mercedes 380's and 240's. I enjoy and appreciate iconic automobiles. I miss working on those old, pre-computer controlled cars.

We approach the old city. The colors were amazing!

Annecy. The Venice of France

The buildings flanking the canals were well preserved and functional, people lived there. On the street level were restaurants and retail shops but nothing was "Tourist Tacky". The city was clean, peaceful and everyone I saw seemed to be enjoying themselves.

We saw some historic churches, too:

One of my Favorite Photos....Stained Glass Reflections!

Below is the trademark and  most photographed scene in Annecy. It is the Palais de L'ile. Records back to the 1300's sees this medieval castle a coin mint, church, jail, courthouse and administrative offices of the territory. It is shaped as a boat and is situated in the middle of the canal. There is nothing else like it in the world.

Moi at the Palais de L'Ile

Anna-Lou, my Gracious Hostess, She is a Native of the Area!

We had lunch later at one of the many al fresco restaurants and then strolled lakeside.

A Medieval Castle

The sign Translates to " The Bridge of Love"

A Classic Merry-Go-Round Lakeside

An Intricate Sundial, Methinks

A Tree Lined Canal and Boats for Hire

We wandered back to the car and eventually went the French Walmart, Carrefour, to get some essentials. We met later that night for dinner and I had the best trout filet in recent memory. The local cuisine features cheese, potatoes, fish and sausages, perfect with a regional wine. I slept well that night after a long and fun day.

One more chapter and I will be done! Promise!


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geo said...

Great scenery. Lovely place for a vacation.
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