ZACH'S POSTCARDS FROM MEGEVE
Editor’s Note: Last January, Telluride Inside… and Out visited Megeve, located in the Haute-Savoie department, Rhone-Alpes region, southeastern France. The town started its development as a ski resort in the 1910s, when the Rothschild family began spending winter vacations in the region after becoming oh so over the Swiss resort of St Moritz. Modern-day Megeve is considered among the most beautiful upmarket ski resorts in France, indeed, in the world. And with good reason. Even more than Telluride, Mageve offers extensive downhill options for all levels of skiers and boarders: 111 lifts, 219 slopes, totaling 445 km. The region has no huge hotels, and for the most part, there are no mass market boils on its face. (However – egads – when we were there, we spied a MacDonald’s at one end of town.) The core of Megeve is a charming medieval village with narrow cobbled streets, but the wake up call signaling you are in the here and now are the numerous high-end designer boutiques flashing brand names like Prada and Hermes. Over the years, Telski, Town of Telluride and Mountain Village honchos have talked about the possibility of an alliance with Megeve in the form of a “sister city” relationship. So far, no dice. But an ambassador went to Megeve anyway, thanks to two ski coaches, local Caleb Martin and his friend, Richard Gay (in Megeve). The pair decided an exchange would be a great idea, so Zach Nunn is now staying with Clement Cabrol’s family – Alain, Cathy, Camille, and Nicholas – before Clement travels to town to ski moguls with the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club. Clement will be staying with the (remaining) Nunns: Randall, Debra, and Skyler. Zach plans to spend a year in Megeve and will be posting regularly. The following is his first “postcard.”
Today I went to Annecy, a small city southeast of Megéve. (On the map, Megéve is between Annecy and Geneva.) After we dropped off Camille at a water ski ramp, we walked around the old town and swam in the lake.
Annecy has buildings that are over 300 years old, some even older, and a castle that overlooks everything: Château d’Annecy. There are also some old churches made of stone. Some of the streets are cobblestone, laid with thousands of smoothed rocks about the size of a fist all cemented together. There are also remains of a wall, but the only intact part is by the castle.
We walked around the town and checked out all the cafes before walking up the hill to the castle to explore its numerous floors. The castle was once all stone, but some of the original flooring was removed over the years and replaced with tile. The stairs are also stone and they spiral from the ground and end at the top floor, with doorways for each floor. The rooms hold all kinds of art.
The Château d’Annecy was abandoned by the 17th century but The town of Annecy acquired it in 1953, restored it and installed a museum there. The castle now houses statues, modern art and other paintings. There are even objects dating back to the 12th and 16th centuries, when this and other castles were being built in the region. In one room there is furniture regular (not noble) people used in their homes centuries ago. It is amazing how compact the people lived to conserve heat: the chairs were also tables, and beds were only about five feet long.
After visiting the castle, we ate lunch at a cafe and had some of the best strawberry and vanilla ice cream I have ever tasted. On the way back to Megéve, we stopped at the lake and swam. The water was very warm. It was an awesome third day.
Check out my video to see what I am talking about.
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