I must have visited hundreds of medieval villages in France in my time and yet never tire of looking. In fact it is probably one of my favourite ways of relaxing.
Looking at the lovely photograph of Conques on our Photo Friday last week, I was reminded of just how wonderful it is touring around France and exploring all those fascinating medieval villages. I must have visited hundreds of these villages in my time and yet never tire of looking. In fact it is probably one of my favourite ways of relaxing.
I wonder what it is that draws me and thousands of others to explore these places, often by foot for the most part, since most villages are like Conques and perched on the highest point for miles around that are sometimes inaccessible by car. And all this is done usually in hot weather.
Apart from the obvious attraction of architecture, churches, abbeys etc., there are often local craft shops, restaurants and cafes to be enjoyed. There is a fine line of balance between the tourist demands for eating and drinking, coupled with the cultural attractions of such places and yet allowing a village to remain unspoilt.
Somehow France manages to get the balance just right in most cases and the demands of tourism do not usually overwhelm the natural retained charm of the village. I suspect it is the feelings of getting in touch with the past and hankering back to a more leisurely pace of life that these places resonate. Whatever, the restorative sense of peace and tranquility that these visits invoke in me is good enough reason to keep going back.
Why not try it for yourself?