The narrow street widened into a wide thoroughfare to my delight; I was now able to gaze upon a delightful scene. A radiant yellow window decorated with blue wooden panes set against red bouquets of flowers adorning window sills, contrasted brilliantly with the sandstone coloured archaic wall and blue tinged cobble stone street. I stood admiring this most beautiful facade resplendent with such simple yet beautifully blended colours. Looking about in childlike wonder I thought “What would it have been like to have lived so long ago in a town such as this?”. My thoughts deep in reverie, a gentle smile slowly crept across my face as I pondered one of my favourite characters; D’Artagnan from The Three Musketeers, walking down a street such as this in his swashbuckling style, an air of bravado, the hallmark of a proud and fiery young Gascon in the prime of his life.
My feet felt the smooth contours of pebbles beneath my feet as I wandered around the many secluded pathways that meandered throughout the medieval town. Looking downwards I smiled at the myriad of rainbow earthen coloured stones that glistened in the afternoon sun. I paused and wondered in awe and silence, reminiscing of a time long ago when the “Clip Clop” of horses hooves mingled with the sound of farm animals and townsfolk bartering their wares around a maze of merchant stalls. Glancing around, I noticed a beautiful sand stone facade with vibrant blue doorway and shutters, blending wonderfully with the pebble stone road. A simple cast iron lantern hung above the doorway, framed by a stoic arch. I paused and admired the elegance and classical beauty of this doorway. It was merely a door, yet somehow its timeless beauty struck a chord within my heart, yearning for an era where beauty manifested itself in simplicity.
The main road skirting the periphery of the town meandered off suddenly into a narrow street. As I turned down an ancient cobblestone pathway, my eyes widened in wonder as I gazed upon a delightful scene, a moment in time that plunged me back into an era centuries ago. An archaic building with a crumbling facade of earthly hues commanded my attention. The golden sandstone with its decaying wooden shutters and doorways, contrasted brilliantly with the blue tinged cobble stone street displaying a mosaic of classical beauty. I stood admiring this most beautiful facade resplendent with such simple, beautifully blended colours. A pang of nostalgia gripped my heart for a life that I had merely glimpsed from stories bequeathed from past generations and cherished conversations with elderly townsfolk only too eager to relate their experiences of joy mixed with suffering and sorrow. The buildings were merely an extension of the human experience I thought to myself. This crumbling facade merely reflected the fortitude of the human spirit during times of adversity; it’s ability to endure all things and still manifest something of beauty.
Passing through the magnificent roman archway commanding the main gate of this fortified town, I looked on in astonishment at the large stone and cobblestones lining the ramparts. I stood for long moments in reverie before walking along down the narrow meandering road skirting the walled medieval city. An amazing mosaic of trade shops and taverns ringed the town connected by a myriad of streets and hidden pathways; each was adorned with beautifully painted doors and window sills, vibrant flowers in earthen pots and elaborately designed wooden doors and cast iron ornaments. I reminisced of a time when the sounds of horses footsteps mingled with the clamouring of blacksmiths, traders and merchants selling their wares with the townsfolk. I stopped by a staircase, nestled by a stone wall and door. An archaic crumbling stone facade made of pebbles and stones formed a beautiful mosaic of earthy hues and colours. It was if every stone had a unique story to tell, of an era long ago about a picturesque and beautiful French town perched high upon on a hill.
The narrow village paths lined with colourful restaurants and intricate bouquets adorning the decaying medieval walls, straddled the main stream meandering through the centre of this picturesque town nestled at the footsteps of the Alps. The surrounding landscape, comprising a ring of forested mountains and complemented by a crystal clear lake embraced this medieval paradise. Centuries old towns with cobblestone streets, ramparts, archaic castles and cathedrals from the medieval and renaissance periods unique to European were truly fascinating to behold. Exotic buildings and streets with colourful facades, magnificent cathedrals and richly decorated buildings connected by secret passageways plunges one literally into the tales and story books of ones childhood. Flamboyant characters such as Molière and D’Artagnan suddenly come to life. France manifests architectural sophistication and elegance, a rich diverse and vibrant culture and is blessed with geographical beauty renown throughout the world.
Walking along the narrow cobblestone street I paused before an old wooden brown door decorated with cast iron adornments. Unperturbed, I pushed the door, which groaned heavily and proceeded up the dimly lit passageway. The sound of people walking in the street dwindled as I wound my way up a narrow ancient corridor, until arriving at an archaic stairwell. I looked up in wonder at the winding staircase; the yellow glow along the walls was penetrated by the gentle blue of the sky breaking through in the distant heights. The walls had faded, and the multitude of cracks permeated their surface forming a historical tapestry. Every line seemed to manifest a mysterious tale centuries old, dating from the renaissance period. The simplistic beauty of this stairwell kept me transfixed for a long time, yearning for an era so distant yet kept alive within the depths of my imagination.
Walking along the narrow cobblestone street I paused before an old wooden brown door decorated with cast iron adornments. “I wonder what lay beyond?”. I had heard tales of merchants long ago who used hidden passages to transport their expensive silken wares through the heart of the city. Unperturbed and filled with the excitement of the unknown I pushed the door which groaned heavily and proceeded up the dimly lit passageway. The sound of people walking in the street dwindled as I wound my way up a narrow ancient corridor; the walls on either side had faded, cracks had wound a tapestry on either side. Light began to suffuse the corridor which opened up into a picturesque courtyard. The combination of rich colours, green plants crawling along walls, beautiful archaic facades and doors plunged one back into an era long ago. Turning around in wonder I suddenly paused. A magnificent red tower, elegantly framed with arched windows and a spiral stone staircase rose up into the sky. The passage of time had merely added to its beauty.