The smell of burning wood permeated the cool winters morning. Besides the numerous cats relaxing in the sunshine, there was a strange but welcome stillness, so profound that all ones sense were enhanced. Passing the stone courtyard a flurry suddenly caught my eye, or was it merely an inner sense; looking towards the upper level of the monastery I caught the glimpse of a monks’ flowing black robes as he disappeared into the dormitory. I looked for a few more moments yearning to catch another rare glimpse of the unknown monk; turning around I walked a few steps and came across a staircase. Archaic and worn with the passage of time it was nevertheless beautiful to behold in its antiquity.
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.
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.