In small towns, wonder!

I have always had a weakness for the small towns that I discover during my travels. Yes, Paris is sublime and London, a majestic metropolis, but the town has this little something charming that touches my heart! Hearing the birds singing and the laughter of children playing in the park is fabulous. Meeting the locals and feeling like you know their secret places is magical. Discovering a small city where the quality of life is enviable also makes us question our own way of living.



Probably because I’m originally from Quebec, I have a weakness for towns that are both old and on a human scale when I travel. In the streets of Quebec, my heart beats hard. I am finding my roots. I am following in the footsteps of my adolescence, of my first loves. I climb the ramparts again and again. I like to touch the old stones, lie down on the grass of the Plains of Abraham and contemplate the boats which roll on the water like the 10 cent coins. Again and again, I am moved when I return to the Old Capital. Here are some other peaceful and beautiful places I’ve visited elsewhere in the world.

Ronda: the Roman city

  • Ronda, a favorite!

    PHOTO SEANPAVONEPHOTO, GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

    Ronda, a favorite!

  • The Roman bridge of Ronda crosses a dizzying cliff.

    PHOTO GENEVIÈVE BORNE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    The Roman bridge of Ronda crosses a dizzying cliff.

1/2

I first saw her photo and I wanted to fly to her! Located between Seville and Malaga, this city gave me the impetus to discover Andalusia and it remains my biggest favorite in this region of southern Spain. Ronda is small, with only 33,000 inhabitants. Life is sweet there. Its cobblestone streets take us between the top and bottom of the city, through numerous changes in height. Built on the top of a mountain, the small city has a great treasure: an impressive Roman bridge from the 4the century which crosses a dizzying cliff. A river, which turns into a waterfall, is projected through the bowels of the grandiose bridge that we admire for a long time. Ronda is also the cradle of bullfighting and its bullrings are the oldest and most beautiful in Spain.

Cesky Krumlov: traveling through time

  • Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

    PHOTO GENEVIÈVE BORNE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

  • A fountain in Cesky Krumlov

    PHOTO GENEVIÈVE BORNE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    A fountain in Cesky Krumlov

  • The historic center of the city is part of the UNESCO world heritage.

    PHOTO GENEVIÈVE BORNE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    The historic center of the city is part of the UNESCO world heritage.

  • The Vltava river flows through the city.

    PHOTO GENEVIÈVE BORNE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    The Vltava river flows through the city.

1/4

While Prague in the Czech Republic is lovely, its smaller version, Cesky Krumlov, is so pretty it seems straight out of a children’s book! Its quaint, colorful houses line the Vltava river which crosses this absolutely charming little town. As in any self-respecting medieval city, there is an impressive castle on its heights. You can achieve it if you’re in good shape! Here, time stands still. Its historic center, preserved from bombings, is part of the UNESCO world heritage. We can catch the wind, watch the leaves swirl. We can discover it slowly, without fear of being hit by a car.

Kurashiki: the good times

  • Kurashiki is famous for its canals.

    PHOTO GENEVIÈVE BORNE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    Kurashiki is famous for its canals.

  • A journey through time, in the heart of the historic Bikan district

    PHOTO GENEVIÈVE BORNE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

    A journey through time, in the heart of the historic Bikan district

1/2

An ancient merchant town, Kurashiki is renowned for its canals on which you can gently navigate aboard traditional boats. In the lordly era, it was an important port for the rice trade, and the merchants’ houses have retained their former beauty. The electrical wires of the historic Bikan center are buried in order to preserve its medieval appearance. Here, we travel back in time, and time has stopped in the most beautiful Japanese era! Art lovers will be won over by the city’s numerous museums established in very beautiful buildings along the canals along which it is so pleasant to stroll. Kurashiki is located an hour and a half by train from Hiroshima and, unlike that city, was spared any bombing.

San Miguel de Allende: the free city

PHOTO RM NUNES, GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

The neo-Gothic bell towers of the magnificent San Miguel de Allende church can be seen from everywhere.

The weather is good in San Miguel de Allende. This pretty town is nestled in the mountains of central Mexico, a five-hour drive from Mexico City. Here, it is not the sea that we admire, but the reliefs of the region. The city is hilly and puts our legs to the test! Throughout the walks, San Miguel reveals its rich history and its central characters, such as Ignacio Allende, who conspired in the 18the century against the government – ​​San Miguel was one of the first Mexican cities to free itself from Spanish rule. The magnificent church is the heart of the city. You can see its neo-Gothic bell towers everywhere. You will be charmed by the beauty of the colonial houses, whose large interior courtyards have been transformed into restaurants, hotels, or bars, and their multicolored facades. My biggest favorite (after the superb church) is La Aurora, a former textile factory converted into an art center with many artists’ studios.

Cambridge: the magnificent

PHOTO GENEVIÈVE BORNE, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

The immense green fields of Cambridge

There are many charming little towns in England, but I have a weakness for Cambridge, 80 kilometers from London. This university town makes you want to go back to school as its campuses are impressive with their buildings with beautiful large golden stones and their immense green grounds. But the most stunning are the canals on which you can admire rowers gliding under the majestic weeping willows and the magnificent stone bridges. It’s not just the student life that attracts visitors here. The museums and churches of Cambridge are also of great beauty. This small municipality of 150,000 inhabitants is absolutely worth the detour.

Correction: An earlier version of this text stated that the town of Cambridge has a population of 3,000. It’s more like 150,000. Our apologies.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

Leave a Comment