Between the old town and the Annecy lakeshore lies a beautiful green area. Canal du Vassé divides it into two distinct parts.
On your left is huge open green space called Champ de Mars (also called Pâquier). It is not warlike at all – children are playing, adults having picnics with wine (no brown bags) and all kind of dogs jumping around their masters. In the beginning of the area, near quay Eustache Chappuis stands colorful marry-go-round (this year celebrating its 100 years anniversary). You can hear its music playing from the distance - it is real fun for the children of all ages. Farther along promenade Jules Philippe you will find a shady area where locals play the balls (Jeu de Boules) – feel free to join if you know how to play. From the promenade you can watch numerous swans gliding through the Canal du Vassé water.
To the right of the canal, on the edge of the lake lies tree-shady Jardins de l’Europe – place not to be missed while visiting Annecy. Several bridges link the picturesque garden with neighboring areas. The Pont des Amours (Lovers' Bridge), a beautiful example of the beginning of the 20th century iron architecture, links the gardens with the Champ de Mars. The bridge and the canal provide inspiration for many artists who love to come and set up their easels here and paint. It is hard to believe that it is the former place of barracks and old prison. Original project was developed in 1859 by Henri Porreaux. The place eventually was transformed into the garden in 1863, after annexation of Savoy in 1860 – Annecy, new capital of the region put a lot of efforts to make the area beautiful.
Spend some time walking along the lakeshore promenade, explore beautiful gardens or simply find a small romantic corner (like the island with the Swans), then sit on a bench resting in the peace and quiet in the shade of the ancient trees and watching the world go by. Then walk again, this time along Quay Napoleon III enjoying the view of the port, the Castle, and the Annecy Lake. The mountains above the lake, the sun, the music – it will stay in your memory forever.