(All photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)
On a ski trip with friends and family
in Lorraine's Vosges Mountains in France awhile back,
The Chef and I opted out of speeding downhill
in the freezing cold on packed snow and ice...
...instead preferring to take a drive
and enjoy lunch in Ribeauville,
one of the lively medieval villages of Alsace,
with an ample cache of my favorite style of historic abode:
the old wattle-and-daub.
(You can always count on me for
food and window-shopping
as an alternative to skiing.)
I love to wander...
and wonder what life was like in Medieval times.
I can hear the chiming bells and smell the sharp aroma of Frankincense
wafting from the Gothic St. Augustine and St. Gregory churches...
...See the glow of rosy bloom on farmer's ruddy faces
or the cherry-cheeks of peasant women
selling homespun wares at market.
...Hear the clop-clopping of horses hooves
and see the scallop shell emblem of St. James adorning pilgrim's hats and robes.
Except for a few paltry details (like torture, violence, disease, vermin and sewer issues),
I would pay great sums to be transported back in time
to walk European villages in the Middle Ages.
When I get a hankering for that old time machine (and can't be in Europe),
I open up one of Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth' series
and devour as much of the time and place as possible.
(While The Chef called them "Medieval Soap Operas",
he inhaled every one!)
Is there a time period you would most enjoy visiting
if you had the chance?