Strictly speaking, we started our slow travel adventure some 4 or 5 years ago – travelling in London, taking trains across Europe each summer, wandering around Berlin when my wife, (then girlfriend) Maria, still lived there, and generally exploring as much as the world as we could. But when it really began to feel like a non-stop adventure, was when we finally left London, selling many of our things, packing others up into a long term storage (who knows when we’ll see them again) and heading onwards to the beginning of what is already becoming an epic.
We left London one dewy autumn morning, taking our bags and two heavy hangovers to King’s Cross station, we boarded a Eurostar train and headed to Paris, on arrival we headed to Gare de Lyon and boarded our train to our final destination: Annecy. We arrived in the afternoon of the 1st of October, 2014 – to a lake that still glittered under an unusually strong sun, to people still swimming in the warm, welcoming waters that lay beneath what would soon become beautiful snow-capped mountains and to the decadent scents of mountain cheeses, rustic charcuteries and light Savoie wines – we had begun the adventure.
One of the most striking sights that we saw was that of the lake, and luckily we had rented an apartment for 6 months that had the most perfect view of that and the mountains. We’d visited Annecy before of course, and we had fallen quickly in love with it – an incredibly peaceful, and undeniably beautiful slow travel destination. We knew in that case that the best way to enjoy the town is to simply stroll through the old town, over the canals, through cobbled back streets and past charming restaurants serving Fondue and Tartiflette to bemused tourists and hungry locals, and then onwards for a stroll over the banks of the lake. As we explored these wonderful places once more, we noted just how pretty the town becomes during autumn. The trees were already beginning to don their autumn costumes despite the warmth in the air (it remained consistently above 20 degrees until the end of October) and the mountains were starting to brace for winter, looking down as the stark protectors of the glistening lake below. It was already early in the evening by the time we had arrived and been shown into our new temporary home, so the sun was beginning to dwindle – casting glares of oranges and reds across the town – I took a few photos – but mostly kept my camera packed away – this was our first day after all – we should enjoy it with little distraction.
After a walk, and an evening meal in one of our favourite old town restaurants, we walked home across the park by the lake and had an early night accompanied by a bottle of Roussette de Savoie – a wonderful Savoie white wine. The following morning was simply glorious – blue and warm from an intense sun and so we again decided on a day spent doing as little as possible – just walking and exploring our new home…. and that is when this photo was taken. That very morning – just a little over 24 hours after we had left London. Exactly 1 year ago today.
We’ve had an incredible time in that short year, exploring everything from the highest peaks of Europe and tiny lakeside villages to obscure museums in Paris and archaic religious festivals in Italy. We didn’t start the Slow Travel Diary straight away as we needed some time to adjust to life on the proverbial slow travel road – in fact this website is still just 8 months old – a veritable baby! But it’s growing up fast so remember to bookmark us and follow us on our adventures via social media. If you’ve come to us through a search engine or just want to know more about what we’re doing then take a look at our about page here, and if you want then you can also leave us a comment or two.