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.
The clicking sound of footsteps echoed distinctly within the almost deserted arcade. A long glass ceiling contrasted against the chequered floor. The blend of classical architecture in perfect symmetry was beautiful to behold. . Slowly, the smell of freshly roasted coffee, permeated by the conversation of people enjoying the simplicities of life pierced my reverie. Slowly, I became aware of the various cafes, restaurants and artisan shops manifesting the vibrancy European culture that stretched out before me.
Passing through the heart of a city, I was suddenly inundated with a mélange of buildings, advertisements, clamour of traffic, smell of food stalls and rush of people from all walks of life, unfolding before my very eyes. The various expressions on people’s’ faces, especially those sprawled on the pavement evoked a pang of compassion making me reflect “I’d love to know that person’s life story”. Looking around while dodging the constant stream of people, I was captivated by the classical architecture that seemed to silently stand out, marked by stark simplicity and elegant beauty. Walking in the midst of the city I came across an arcade, formed by an honour guard of Classical Grecian columns adorned with a domed roof of the Renaissance period. In the distance a waiter was preparing tables for the forthcoming day. I could envisage people sitting in the cafe, chatting over coffee and hugging their cup for warmth on this cold winter day.