March 31, 2015
Since I moved to London 5 years ago, I didn't have many opportunities to come back to my hometown. I was born in Haute-Savoie in the middle of the French Alps, a wonderful area that I appreciate more and more as time goes.
This post is a photo journal that covers some of my favourite places from my childhood.
Annecy is the biggest city in the region. Also one of the most beautiful. It sits between 2 major mountain ranges and its lake has the clearest water. During hot summer days, you can rent a boat and go for a swim in deep waters. The old city has an authentic French atmosphere and has some great restaurants offering local specialities like "tartiflette". Make sure to stop by if you ever travel around here.
This small mountain village sits at the bottom of a rocky summit called "Le Bargy". The sight from up there is stunning with a panoramic view of the Alps. Its small church lights up at night and can be seen from the valley at the bottom of the mountain. In summer, Mont Saxonnex becomes a hiking paradise with quiet walks to a hidden lake and the chance to see a few wild animals.
Chamonix lays right at the bottom of Europe's highest summit, the Mont Blanc (4807m). The scale of nature here is almost intimidating. The peaks surrounding the city make Chamonix the ideal place for people into extreme sports. If you're not into mountain climbing or skiing, I recommend visiting L'Aiguille-du-Midi, an observatory balancing on top of a peak at 3,842m. It is accessible through an impressive cable-car ride and will let you stare at the world from the top of Europe!
This photo of Chamonix Train Station makes me think of The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson.
Notice the size of the mountains in the background.
Although Geneva isn't in France, it is only 20 min drive away from my hometown. The city known for its luxury boutiques and artisan watch makers is a quiet place bordering a vast lake separating Switzerland from France. The city life is rather slow-paced here and has an interesting local/global feel to it. Although it is not a big, Geneva hosts many major international organisations (UN European Headquarters, Red Cross, CERN, Watch Manufactures, etc..) which attracts people from all over the world, making this "village" feel truly international.
The walk along the port will lead you to Geneva's famous fountain rising at about 100m over the city.
Geneva tramways are great to move around the city.
Marignier is my actual hometown. The place where I grew up and lived for 18 years. It is a small village sitting at the bottom of mountains. Although it lacks the entertainment of the city, I came to realise that there is no better place for nature lovers. I love coming here for a few days, see my family and friends and escape the buzzing city of London. Only 20 min drive from the closest ski resort or hike, it is a place to come and relax. Life here is comfortable and people take their time enjoying 3 hour-long meals on weekends around the family table.