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.
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 the town. A ring of forested mountains complemented by a crystal clear lake embraced this medieval picturesque town huddled within the footsteps of the Alps. Centuries old towns with cobblestone streets, ramparts, archaic castles and cathedrals from the medieval and renaissance periods with colourful facades and hidden passageways plunged one literally into the tales and story books of ones childhood. Flamboyant characters such as Molière and D’Artagnan suddenly came to life, manifesting the sophistication and elegance of French Culture.
Crossing the busy road, I walked briefly up a narrow path before suddenly turning right. The transition was amazing to behold. An archaic cobblestone street opened up into a beautiful square. Ornate Renaissance buildings complete with antiquated wooden iron gilded doors plunged me into a bygone era. A beautiful fountain caught my attention. Moving slowly towards it, oblivious to the sounds around me I gazed at the depiction of “The Baptism of Christ by St. John the Baptist”. The solemnity and reverence in the statues’ expressions struck a chord in my heart. For long moments I gazed upon the figure of Christ, He whom I loved most and reflected on the most beautiful manifestation of sacrifice and pure love. Eventually I turned away and was greeted by a most beautiful facade. The cobblestone street gave way paying homage to a large archaic wooden door magnificently framed by multiple roman arches, a reminder of Lyon’s glorious past.
The large obscure wooden door adorned with cast iron decorations seemed barely visible in the quiet cobblestoned street. Filled with wonder and thirst for adventure, I pushed the door which groaned heavily and proceeded up the dimly lit passageway. The walls on either side had faded; the passage of time had allowed cracks to weave a wonderful tapestry. It was dark and quiet however as I continued walking up this narrow winding corridor; suddenly light began to suffuse the corridor which opened up into a picturesque courtyard. A wonderful combination of colours decorating old doors, blue stone floors beautiful archaic fountains and facades caused me to marvel at the simplistic beauty of the picturesque courtyard before me, bathed in the morning light. The gentle sound of music, serene and beautiful made me yearn for an era long ago.
Walking along the narrow cobblestone, I suddenly paused before an archaic wooden door filled with wonder. I reminisced about old tales of merchants using hidden passages to transport their expensive wares through the heart of the city. Filled with the excitement 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 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. Plants desperately clinging along decaying 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.
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; a multitude of cracks permeated their surface forming an archaic tapestry. Every line seemed to manifest a mysterious tale, centuries old. The simplistic beauty of this rennaisance stairwell kept me transfixed for a long time, yearning for a distant era, alive within the depths of my imagination.