Thursday, April 3, 2014

Little Town, It's A Quiet Village

I know, I know. I'm the worst. I haven't updated this in so long. I've just been so busy with class, work, and exploring Paris now that the weather is nice that I haven't had the time. I actually don't really have the time right now but I couldn't let another day pass without updating this (and was looking for a good reason to procrastinate).

A few weekends ago a group of us decided to get out of Paris for the day.  With our lovely navigo (metro) passes, we're able to go almost anywhere in the Île-de-France region fo' free! Well, we pay for a monthly pass so it's not technically free but there is no extra cost so I'm going to consider it free. Anyways, technicalities aside, we get to swipe our navigos and hop on the train to wherever our hearts desire. That day it was Provins, a quaint medieval town about an hour and a half outside of Paris.

Provins is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its importance during medieval times as territory of the Counts of Champagne.  It was one of the towns at which the annual trading fairs that linked Europe and the Mediterranean occurred.  Many of its structures (including the city walls, Tour Cesar, and Saint Quiriace Collegiate Church) are still in very good shape today which allows visitors to step back through time to see what life looked like back in the day.

Tour César, a brilliantly blue sky, and the moon!

We arrived in Provins just before lunchtime so our first goal was finding a place to eat. We made our way through the more modern part of town (aka cars) towards the main attraction, Tour Cesar, hoping to found food along the way.  There was a cute (touristy) square just beyond Tour Cesar so we stopped at a restaurant there to have lunch. I ordered a ham and cheese omelettes and fries. An interesting tidbit is that omelettes are popular here, but for lunch and dinner, not breakfast. Regardless, it was delicious.

Pretending I'm Belle and am about to run through the town square singing. "Little town, it's a quiet village!"

After lunch we walked over to Tour César with the intention of going inside and to the top. However, it cost money and, us being the cheap college students we are (even in France), decided it wasn't worth it. A few people decided to go to the top, though, so the rest of us laid in the grass while they climbed the tower. It was an excellent use of our time since it was positively the most beautiful day in France since our arrival. We laid in the grass, braided and put flowers in our hair, and had a mini photo shoot.

We went inside to the first floor, good enough for me.
Birds eye view of our naps on the grass.
There were so many wildflowers everywhere, how could we not put them in our hair?!
Very pleased with our new 'dos.
After we had our fill of the sun and the grass, we made our way over to the church just a few steps away.  Walking inside was an immediate shock because the temperature dropped about twenty degrees. It was so chilly inside but felt refreshing after having our skin warmed by the sun. I wasn't expecting such a grand church in this small town but its beauty took my breath away. Or maybe that was just the cold. Hmm.. Anywhoo, I spent some time walking around the church, taking pictures, and embracing the silence before heading back outside to join the others.
I love the multiple layers and details of each piece.
The sun shining through the stained glass led to some great lighting.
I didn't notice the door until looking at this picture later, I wonder who (or what) is behind it?
There were numerous people around yet the church was practically silent.
The church from a small alleyway just outside.
Exploring the nooks and crannies of this small medieval town.

I want this hairdo everyday.
Group shot in front of the church!
We then walked through the town, searching for the edge so we could climb the city walls. We decided to follow some other people who looked very much like tourists and were able to find the city walls! We climbed up them to a wonderful view of the village and the countryside surrounding it. I'm not gonna lie, my fear of heights definitely kicked in as we were walking up and down the stairs of the wall. There was slim to no protection if I slipped and fell! Luckily, my tight grip and slow going allowed me to make it up and down the wall safely.
I may be smiling but look at the terror in my eyes.

Worth it. The walls are so cool!
Look at that view!
As it was almost evening time and there was beginning to be a bit of a nip in the air, we decided to make our way back to the train station and into the bustling city.  These day trips out of the city are quickly becoming some of my favorite days of the trip. It's so easy and such a sweet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It's nice to breath in some genuinely fresh air every once in a while.

I'm so far behind on updates so more posts to come soon, promise!

Until Next Time.

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