From the shore I gazed out towards the magnificent cast iron bridge spanning the great breadth of the river. The old part of the city, lit up by streetlights, emanated a warm light reflected in the calm but steady flowing river. The whirling of the wind dancing around me, intermingled with the gentle sound of running water. Entranced by the soft glow of distant lamps I looked out yonder towards the old city. It seemed the bridge and city were connected by the impulsive drive of mankind to surge forward towards the future while establishing a tenuous hold with the past. For long moments I stared out from under the embrace of this magnificent steel structure. My thoughts were entranced and calmed by the golden glow upon mysterious waters.
The old town had numerous cobblestoned paths ascending towards cliff. As we walked along the summit I looked out towards the ocean, overwhelmed at the sheer simplistic beauty of how effortlessly the splendour of creation blended with the creativity of mankind. A white staircase ascending towards an abandoned windmill, simple yet striking to behold. It was as if time had stopped, reminding me of a bygone era uncomplicated yet timeless in its beauty.
The faint echo of my footsteps disappeared into the profound silence that manifested an aura of sanctity about the monastery. The buildings seemed archaic, yet the passing of centuries had merely enhanced their beauty. Decaying yet dignified, the monastery walls and church were marvellous to look upon in their simplistic beauty. As I stood looking upon an archaic facade, a monk with flowing black robes suddenly came up to me full of joy and smiling. He talked in such a beautiful melody, rich and resonant. I could not help but look upon his face in wonder. The thought crossed my mind “Is he slightly mad?”. After a few moments, looking upon the purity of his disposition, I felt ashamed of my thoughts and merely stood in silence. The monk radiated a childlike innocence and joy, yet his words were filled with wisdom and love as he gave me his blessing and wished me well upon my journey. I stood for a long time in silence, not wanting to leave, sensing that I was in the presence of someone special. It was with a heavy heart that I eventually walked away deep in thought. I often think of this unknown monk. The purity of his warm eyes and loving words have left me a lasting impression. A monk living a simplistic life dedicated to prayer and fasting yet somehow filled with profound peace and joy.
The morning air was fresh as I stepped out onto the street winding its way down to the harbour. The sound of my muffled footsteps disappeared amidst the gentle splashing of waves in the distance. As the first rays of sunrise cast its light upon the colourful facades I stopped by a beautiful sand stone wall with a bright red door. The passing of centuries had left their marks of decay, yet this only complemented the beauty of simplistic architectural and colourful themes blended naturally together.
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.