The first thing I’d like to do is to say HUGE Thank You! To my dear talented friend Virginia , whose blog Paris Through My Lens I admire, for introducing me so generously to you.
Welcome to my blog.
Merci beaucoup dear Virginia.
And thank you very much to everyone for visiting my blog and leaving such encouraging comments. Your support means a world to me and I’m thrilled to meet new friends and discover new blogs!
We’ll travel together. I’d love to share with you whatever jewel I find.
City of Bourges is right in the center of France and on the crossroads of history. A stronghold once conquered by Romans, whose presence you still can see, and a prosperous city of the 16-th century where exactly we found ourselves today.
We got there at the dusk when everything gets a marvelous golden glow. Magic!
But nothing was as incredibly beautiful as wandering these peaceful streets at night.
With soft light from windows above, the streets in historic center are lit with those famous French lanterns which are nowadays such a hit on all antique markets.
Beautiful, lovingly preserved mostly medieval city of Bourges with rows of authentic maisons de bois - half-timber houses and narrow cobble stone streets, gorgeous little squares and tiny babbling fountains, breathtaking Palais de Jacques Coeur and world known St. Etienne Cathedral, secret alleys, hidden passages behind the ramparts, lanterns and cute courtyards, grand Hotels particuliers and XVIII century townhouses.
This entire block is actually a colourful trompe-l'oeil painted on the side wall.
The historical center is a pedestrian zone and is a part of proudly restored national heritage. It’s kind of a miracle that people haven’t abandon this tiny dwellings in favor of more comfortable contemporary housing at outskirts, where traffic allowed and most of the businesses located. But they stay there for many generations, and judging from how every detail is attended with care, they love their city and it certainly shows.
For some unexplainable reason Bourges is largely overlooked by tourists, no crowds at all where they likely should be. There’s so much to see and learn and the city is very inventive and generous in showing off all its treasures to attract the visitors.
Surprisingly there were very few tourists, calm and quiet like having this magic city to ourselves. An intimate experience. We started to whisper as even a quiet talk echoed. Wouldn’t you hear a clatter of horses’ hoofs on paving stones? I’d better step aside to let a carriage pass by.
Stores with modern, design-y windows are closed. The city looks asleep and it’s not 9pm yet. Somewhere at the end of the street you can hear those unmistakable tinkling of the glassware, light murmuring and it smells really good – the restaurant, means we’re approaching the main hub Place Gordaine surrounded with gorgeous medieval 4 stories skyscrapers. It was a long day and a nice dinner at such a beautiful setting is a travelers dream.
Oh this eau de vivre, a bottle of cool Badoit on a hot day and a glass of wine and I’m pretty much content. My husband and son look in awe around while waiting for a meal to come. Unbelievable. Isn’t it a movie set? Nope, it’s for real.
Steep roofs, wrought iron doors, unexpected passages around the corner and people actually still live there for the last 500 years.
It's not a decoration though sometimes it feels like someone shouted "Action!" and in minute , as soon as we turn, it may disappear after the sharp “Cut!” No, it won't. People LOVE their city and it shows at every step and any direction you go.
I wish we had there a full day from early morning till late night . If there are cities walkable and huggable, this is the one.
Sweet dreams. See you in the morning.
Stay tuned for Part 2.
Stay tuned for Part 2.