Liv­ing in the mo­ment in Saint- Paul de Vence

Provincial Living - - Contents -

Robyn John­ston re­calls the few pre­cious hours she spent in the vil­lage of Saint-Paul de Vence – a mo­ment in time that has re­mained green in her mem­ory for years.

Travel broad­ens our hori­zons and of­fers us a taste of cul­ture and history. As we jour­ney, we con­tin­u­ally learn, not only about places and peo­ple, but about our­selves. Some places have a pro­found ef­fect upon us and stay with us al­ways. For me, one of those places was Saint-Paul de Vence in South­ern France.

I had reached the tail end of a whirl­wind bus tour of Europe. The morn­ing’s stop­ping place was to be a small vil­lage perched on a hill in the South of France, 18km from Nice.

We ar­rived early and climbed up the hill to­wards an im­pres­sive me­dieval fortress. I knew noth­ing of the vil­lage that lay be­yond its walls, so I had no ex­pec­ta­tions as we passed be­neath the arched en­trance.

From the mo­ment I took my first step upon the town’s cob­bled stones, my heart was lost. I lit­er­ally stopped in my tracks. I stood, rel­ish­ing this sud­den feel­ing of bliss, and re­alised I needed to ex­pe­ri­ence this place alone. Our time there was lim­ited to just a few hours so, af­ter ar­rang­ing a des­ig­nated meet­ing place and time, I left my fel­low trav­ellers be­hind.

From the mo­ment I took my first step upon the town’s cob­bled

stones, my heart was lost.

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