When I was little, it was a dream of mine to go to Europe. The Europe of my imagination, however, resembled more the villages typical of Disney movies — I even remember thinking that people in Europe still wore period clothes. By the time I moved to Spain, I knew not to expect everything to look like tiny medieval villages, though I knew those still existed — tiny towns frozen in time, like something out of a picture. Going to Prague felt a bit like that, with its winding cobblestone streets, Baroque façades, and tiny corners that felt like windows into past decades and centuries. But there were definitely still hints, small but undeniable, that this was a modern city. The electric tramways, contemporary sculpture, and the Nove Mesto, which is undeniably modern in its architecture and scale, all reminded me that I was in the 21st century, not in the Communist era, nor in the Baroque.
I visited Bordeaux with my family in August, and then summarily fell asleep in the car as we drove I didn’t know where outside of the city. When we arrived at Saint-Émilion, I felt, for the first time since I moved to Europe, like I had arrived into something taken out of a Disney movie.
While there, we climbed the 13th century Tour du Roi, or the King’s Keep, which is the only Romanesque keep still intact in all of Gironde. Though it only takes 118 steps to reach the top — the tower has a height of 32 meters — the view is gorgeous.