The Alan-Jenny couple has grown to a family with two daughters and a third one on the way ;oD
Before the belly got too big to move around in the VW camper van and before Alan lost his vacation days of the previous year, we went on a family camping trip to France, hoping that in the south it would be warm enough for outdoor activities.
“We’ll leave right after dinner so we can use the girls’ sleeping time for boring driving.” That’s always the plan. In reality, our departure doesn’t take place until past our sleeping time because the after-dinner clean-up and in particular loading the car (this time even with a humongous paddl board), including filling the water tank and preparing the bed take so long!
Initially, we had planned a stop-over in Geneva. However, we tried to avoid the Swiss toll highway. Due to this detour, the daylight hours just rushed by like the cars on the endless streets we were riding on and we were still not any close to our first French destination – Annecy.
We made the painful experience that French highways are also very expensive! We paid 50 Euro for using 200 km of the street *crazy* Well, the money does seem to go into street and rest area quality. As opposed to some German ones, the French highways are neither bumpy nor are the restrooms disgusting. No, kids can even take a break on nice playgrounds :oD
Magda and Erna soon got bored. Reading stories, listening to audio books, or singing couldn’t occupy them enough. They wanted to move!
Finally, we got out of the car and thus out of this tense atmosphere. Thanks to our camping app, we found a place to stay close to the city and in a premium location, directly by the lake of Annecy – even for free! *perfect*
Luckily, we were still able to enjoy some sunshine on the nice, yet pretty long, walk along the lake, with its villas and fancy hotels, to the city. The girls enjoyed touching the water, jumping over roots, and collecting sea shells. In a large park close to the ancient city centre, we finished our perishable-food-salad: boiled eggs with yogurt.
The city charmed us with its old houses, narrow alleys, and many small bridges. One historic building was even built on a tiny island in the river Thiou, covering the entire ground. So it looked as if the building arose directly from the water.
Our kids didn’t just enjoy discovering new decorative flowers on every bridge. They also loved climbing and hanging on the balustrades ;oP
The highlight of the day was playing with gigantic soap bubbles on a square in front of a church, just opposite of the “island building”. The girls had so much fun, first just watching, but soon chasing after the bubbles, dancing to the cheerful music *happy* Magda even got to assist in making some bubbles with thin ropes on long sticks.
Accordingly, the farewell was not easy. But we still had a long way back to our mobile home, the sun was already setting and it got really chilly. Nevertheless, the young “soap bubble magician” was sweating, trying to keep his audience entertained. He was collecting donations for a trip along the Canadian West coast with his friend who was already in Vancouver.
The next morning we had some brave breakfast. We wanted to make use of our unique campsite and eat with a view on the pretty lake, still covered with fog.
The sun was still hiding behind the mountains. That’s why we were freezing when we peeled our eggs, cut pepper, cheese, spread peanut butter on our pancakes – despite many layers of clothes *brrr*