The scent of fresh air following rainfall was still lingering in the cold winter wind, as I ascended the winding cobblestone road leading into the heart of the city. Crossing an archaic bridge resplendent with ancient Roman arches, I could still hear the churning of the river as it meandered around this beautiful Alpine town. Wandering along the main road, I experienced Gothic cathedrals, half-timbered fachwerk houses, castles and towers manifesting the true beauty and charm of traditional German culture. Winding cobblestone streets opened up into splendid squares, surrounded by elegantly designed buildings decorated with a lovely array of vibrant colours, a hallmark of the cultural splendour of Germany’s culture medieval cultural heritage. Standing amidst the rows of magnificent houses, the silence manifested a powerful impression as vivid as the array of beautiful colours adorning them.
The light shower of rain settled over the picturesque town quietly nestled at the footsteps of the Alps. As the storm clouds stretched across the expanse of Heaven, the soft glow of raindrops glistened on the ancient cobblestones of this deserted road. I stood for a long time alone, deep in thought, contemplating the beauty of past centuries. Elegant and sophisticated buildings lined the meandering pathways winding throughout the town. A majestic medieval cathedral resplendent in classical Baroque architecture was beautifully contrasted against a churning river passing through the town. I felt enchanted and at peace surrounded by the charm and elegant beauty of this alpine treasure.
Pausing by the footpath, I surveyed the centuries old road before me, disappearing into the distance beneath a beautiful classical arch bathed in sunlight. Surprisingly I stood there all alone, dimly aware of the distant clicking of someones shoes on the cobblestones. The temporary flash of a lady and her black coat swishing hurriedly across the street on a cold winters momentarily broke my reverie. Simplicity and elegance within the diverse architecture reflected a bygone era off cultural flair manifested in the splendid array of churches, statues and facades characteristic of this sophisticated and elegant city.
Waking long the narrow street meandering path, I was pleasantly surprised as it suddenly opened up into a wide thoroughfare. To my delight, a delightful scene unfolded before my very eyes. 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 still admiring this elegant beautifully decorated facade. In childlike wonder I thought “What would life in this town been like?” In deep reverie, I imagined a time long past, where the sound of horses hooves plodding along the cobblestones mingled with the clamour of shop keepers bartering their wares, and peasants going about their daily chores, as travelling musicians enchanted their audiences with stories and tunes to soothe the soul.
Walking hurriedly through the city square, I skirted the narrow walkway dodging the pedestrians while simultaneously glimpsing the diversity of their facial expressions, something which never ceased to amaze me. The smell of cigarettes and croissants, mingled with the aroma of coffee and sound of traffic as the city stirred from its slumber. Suddenly, I found myself standing by a riverbank. The transition was amazing. On one side of the river, cafes, bookshops and artisans peddled their wares. In stark contrast, across the bridge, archaic buildings, with beautiful facades reflected the creative splendour of the Renaissance mysteriously lined the river.
The narrow village paths, lined with colourful restaurants and intricate bouquets adorned the decaying medieval walls, straddled the river meandering through the centre of this picturesque town. Nestled at the footsteps of the Alps, a ring of forested mountains, complemented by a crystal clear lake embraced this medieval paradise, lined with cobblestone streets, castles and cathedrals truly fascinating to behold. Exotic buildings and streets with colourful facades and richly decorated buildings connected by secret passageways plunged one literally into the tales and story books of ones childhood. I stood in a silent reverie as flamboyant characters such as Molière and D’Artagnan suddenly come to life.
Winding my way along the banks of the crystalline lake flanked by an adjacent park adorned with evergreen trees at the doorstep of this beautiful French alpine town, I came across a wrought iron bridge. Simple and stoic in architecture it nevertheless bore testimony to the elegant beauty of artisan creativity of the past. I walked slowly along this rather quaint bridge and paused in the middle. The cool autumn air was invigorating. Somewhere in the distance the call of birds permeated the air. I looked out yonder towards the canal that fed into the lake and observed the boats gently bobbing up and down gently as a line of pure white swans slowly swum upstream. In reverie, I pondered the beauty of silence and simplicity, a treasure often buried amidst the thick layer of dust of our everyday lives.
Walking hurriedly through the city square, I skirted the narrow walkway dodging the pedestrians while simultaneously glimpsing the diversity of their facial expressions, something which never ceased to amaze me. The smell of cigarettes and croissants, mingled with the aroma of coffee and sound of traffic as the city stirred from its slumber. I glanced up in the sky, noticing the soft radiant aura of sunrise and hastened quickly down the road, looking quickly left and right before madly dashing across the main thoroughfare. Suddenly, I found myself standing by a riverbank looking beyond a river of blue, fast flowing water towards the old city. The transition was amazing. As the sun’s rays cast forth their gentle light permeating the morning mist heralding sunrise, a myriad of vibrant colours illuminated the distant shoreline. Archaic buildings, resplendent with beautiful facades simplistically but elegantly ordained, created a truly picturesque scene, manifesting the creative splendour of the Renaissance.
Walking along the sea shore all alone, a sensation of peace mingled with excitement suddenly gripped me as I looked towards the horizon. Only a few brief moments of precious light remained whereby I could experience the sun setting. Quickly climbing atop a rugged boulder surrounded by water, I looked out towards the ocean, overawed by its beauty. I stood still, a lone insignificant silhouetted figure, with eyes closed and outstretched arms in supplication. The sound of the gentle wind and splashing of the waves upon the rocks melted away as I turned inwards to prayer, offering praise to God for His beautiful Creation. There are special moments when silence manifests such a profound presence that it penetrates the depths of one’s soul, where silence is suddenly filled with a presence, both powerful and pure to behold.
Wandering along the seashore, I smiled as my feet marked out a path of desolate footprints along the fine brown sand; the waters of the flowing river lapped gently at my feet. I smiled with childlike innocence and joy as the sun’s warmth coursed through my body. All alone, surrounded by the beauty of nature I experienced an immense sense of peace well within me. Slowly looking up towards heaven itself, I was seized by the sheer beauty of what lay before me. The sound of flowing water coursing towards the ocean mingled with the soft wind that gently caressed my face, manifesting a heavenly chorus. The pure white clouds spreading their celestial beauty across Heaven struck a deep chord within my soul. Standing in reverent silence, I was humbled before such magnificence, rejoicing at the providence of God and His amazing outpouring of love expressed in His Creation. Deep within my the depths of my soul, the psalmists words echoed with profound clarity.
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10