It started when Jim saw these pictures from the French film Claire’s Knee on Tumblr. The film is set on and around a beautiful lake and he made it his mission to find out where it was and go there. We discovered that the name of the lake is Lac D’Annecy, or Lake Annecy, and it is to the east of France, right next to Switzerland: a perfectly located stop-over on  our road trip from the UK to Provence.

So we headed for the town of Annecy and, arriving at sunset, we weren’t disappointed:

Lake Annecy
Lake Annecy at sunset

The town itself is beautiful and historic. Apparently it was once known as ‘Rome of the Alps’ due to its position as a Catholic Diocese and was the residence of the Bishop of Geneva. Today, it has a beautiful medieval centre, some great little gift shops, a fine selection of cheese-tastic restaurants and a decent Christmas market.

But Annecy has another selling point: its surroundings are the setting of the gripping, spooky French series, The Returned. We only realised this when we drove past the American Diner shown in the first series and did a double take: there can’t be many diners set agains bleak, mountainous French countryside. So we made a pilgrimage to this quirky little snack bar, where they even have a special Returned burger on their menu.

Returned American Diner
A slice of America in the foothills of the Alps


And if you’re wondering where the title of this post comes from, I think it is a quote from Claire’s Knee. I haven’t seen it yet though so will need to verify that…