Picnic in the Park

There is no better way of getting under the skin of a village or understand how it works than visiting the local market .
On this tour we do our fair share of markets. Each is special in its own way,selling produce typical of their region.
When I look back over the many highlights in the past two weeks the markets are always featured.
Venice – Sepia squid, huge selection of seafood and prepared artichoke hearts.
Duvaine – the smell of the many rotisserie – cooking chicken, legs of lamb and pork hocks.
Annecy – honey bread made without eggs, butter or raising agent, impressive cheeses and large slabs of nougat.
And still to come is the huge market in Beaune where I will stock up on handkerchiefs, French cotton tea towels and little paring knives!!

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In Annecy we had a rather nice lunch . Everyone had to buy some thing at the market (not a filled roll ) and preferably something that was new to them .
We met in the park beside the lake to show off our purchases and enjoy a shared picnic lunch. (Charles and I did mange to get plastic knives and napkins)
We had thin slices of terrine en Croute, pork rillettes, duck and orange terrine, goat, sheep and cows milk cheeses along with a Acheron mont d’or – a characteristic cheese from Annecy, plus wonderful classic French breads.
We also had an impressive  selection of sweets – from nougat, honey cake, mandelines and fruits like strawberries ,fresh figs and red currants.
It is always interesting to wander around a market but a lot more fun to buy. It makes you look, converse with the producer (or wave your arms a lot if you can’t speak the language) and it gives you a chance to taste and eat.
Although we didn’t have a sunny afternoon to lie around and relax our picnic was a laugh.
Our time in Annecy was extended somewhat after our bus developed a fault. It had an enforced overnight visit with a mechanic while we embarked on our return to Yvoire . First by bus to Geneva, followed by a train to Nyon and finally a boat to Yvoire .
I have an amazing accommodating tour group and they treated their unplanned afternoon with enthusiasm. Some even commented on how much they learnt dealing with tickets, travel times and the crowded rush hour traffic.
Sailing into Yvoire by boat gave us a photogenic view of this lovely quant village and in no time at all we were sitting on an outside terrace under the heaters eating one of my favourite meals of the tour – fried lake fish with chips !!!
I Know ….. REALLY