Entering off the main thoroughfare I entered an inconspicuous narrow corridor that opened up into a beautiful arcade. To my pleasant surprise it was deserted. The sound of traffic and hustle and bustle faded in the background. The contrast between modern and old was amazing to behold. As I walked slowly along the corridor, my footsteps echoed softly as I occasionally paused to admired the simplistic elegant beauty of this hidden treasure, almost hesitant to make any noise to dispel my reverie.
The narrow village paths, lined with colourful restaurants and intricate bouquets adorning the decaying medieval walls, straddled the river 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. This archaic town, lined with cobblestone streets, ramparts, archaic castles and cathedrals from the medieval and renaissance periods was 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. I stood in a silent reverie as flamboyant characters such as Molière and D’Artagnan suddenly come to life.
“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.
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 landscape, comprising a ring of forested mountains surrounding 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 uniquely European were truly fascinating to behold. Exotic buildings with colourful facades, magnificent cathedrals and cobblestone passageways plunged one into the story books of ones childhood. Flamboyant characters such as Molière and D’Artagnan suddenly come to life amidst the architectural sophistication and elegance of this diverse and vibrant Gallic culture.
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.
The main road skirting the periphery of the town meandered suddenly into a narrow street. Turning 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.
The muffled sound of my shoes on the polished stone blocks lining the street rose into the cold winter night as I meandered my way into the heart of the old city. I pondered childhood memories as my breath rose like mist into the evening air, momentarily taking shape before vanishing as quickly as it had appeared. I paused within the almost deserted street as the golden rays of the street lamps bathed the surrounding buildings in an aura of subdued gold. The elegance and sophistication of a bygone era caught my imagination as manifested in the splendid architectural facades that lay before me.