Sometimes as a travel blogger, I must ask myself difficult questions that have no ready answer. Most recently, I had to ask: Do I prefer how the famous Palais de l’Isle in Annecy, France, looks during the night or during the day?
An equally important question may be: what is the Palais de l’Isle, the tear-drop-shaped castle that sits in the Thiou canal and looks out to majestic views of Lake Annecy? Right now, it’s a museum of local history and there are cafes in the courtyard area. But since it was built in 1132, it’s the primary residence of the Lord of Annecy, then the Count of Geneva’s administrative headquarters, then a courthouse and then a mint. In the Middle Ages, it became a jail until 1865 and then again during World War II.
I first saw it during the day, after a long walk around the lake from my hotel, L’Imperial Palace Annecy, into the Old Town. I was struck by its unusual shape and how perfect it looked surrounded by the emerald water. But then I saw it at night after I had finished a delicious dinner at Les Chineurs and fell in love with it all over again. I’m a big fan of how old buildings look lit up at night, like how the Roman ruins take on a colorful sheen or the magic of Venice on a summer night. And speaking of Venice, Annecy is often called the Alpine Venetia or the Venice of France because of its canals.
OK, I think I’ve finally decided that I like it best at night. I reserve the right to change my mind though.
Do you prefer the Palais de L’Isle in all of its colors during the day or do you prefer how it seems to glow from within at night?