A Student Abroad

Living and Traveling Around Europe.

Foggy Autumn Mornings

At least in my mind, Fog has a wonderfully Gothic character about it. It evokes images of Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles and the eerie streets of old Barcelona. It isn’t sinister, simply mysterious… perfect fodder for the writers mind. Growing up in a big city in the desert, the closest we usually came to fog were those old London Gold commercials. So it came as a wonderful surprise  here to discover that if you manage to wake up before the sun, bundle up real tight, and venture out into the darkness… you will be completely enveloped by it.

This particular morning the cold is biting. Even with a sweater and a jacket on it still manages to perpetrate deep down into you. The streets are silent and through the mist the city reveals itself slowly, in pieces. The remains of last nights excesses are still littered here and there; an old pizza box, an abandoned scarf , a two euro bottle of Pinot. You force yourself to take your time, moving slowly up Boulevard de la Victoire towards Pont Royal. The fog is so thick that it’s difficult to even tell where you are heading, street signs and building facades all blending into one.  The light of the street lamps give off a melancholy glow, leading you with unrelenting increments up to the river.  Looking left, you can just see the boats anchored to the quay, rocking gently, empty. Beyond, the lights from the Church of Saint-Paul burn through the haze, illuminating each of its beautiful towers.

Crossing the bridge you enter old town. Here, still in the confusing mist of the pre-dawn it becomes effortlessly easy to imagine you’ve entered a different time. The half- timbered roofs and cobble stone streets guide you through small twisting alleys and secluded city squares. Hopefully, you will allow yourself to get lost, turned around, losing yourself for a few minutes to the city. That is, after all, the whole point, to release yourself from the clamor and the demands of reality. To reach into the magic that can only be found when let go enough to tap into it… here in the last strands of the night, when all interference is gone and the world is asleep.

When you finally find your way to the cathedral, you notice how it could easily be mistaken, in the gloom, for Dracula’s Castle. Rising out of the mist, it stands illuminated against the moon, obligingly completing the Gothic illusion you’ve built over the past hour.  Commandeer a chair from one of the deserted cafe’s and take a seat. Enjoy the moment until the sun emerges, finally, to burn it all away.

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October 17, 2010 - Posted by | Strasbourg | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Wow. What an amazing post. You transported me completely.

    Comment by Anne | October 17, 2010 | Reply

  2. I love that photo!

    Comment by Mina | October 17, 2010 | Reply


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