As the year 2017 is just around the corner, we decided to see how was the year 2016. Well, it was wonderful! We started the TravelersChild and we put our traveling to whole new level. We spent most of this year traveling and exploring not only different places, but different foods, different cultures, met a lot of new great people and just had one of the best years of our life. It’s hard to sum up everything and put it all into perspective, but we decided to do exactly that. And what’s a better way than just to look back and think which places we enjoyed the most. Though it’s a difficult task, as we enjoyed every single moment, this also is a very pleasant objective. We hope that you will enjoy this trip down our memory lane as much as we did!
So allow us to introduce you, Dear Reader, to our No. 7, which is:
Gerberoy is a medieval town in the picturesque Picardy region in the Northern France. Gerberoy streets are full of history way back from early Medieval Ages, however there are no exceptional historic sights left to see here. There is a charming church on the top of the town, a ruins of a castle built in 10th century and… And basically that’s it. And, in addition to this, there are less than 100 residents, so it’s probably one of the smallest towns in France.
In spite of this, Gerberoy is also officially named as one of the most beautiful towns in France. There are two reasons for that. First, it is timber-framed houses. Secondly, it is flowers. To be fair, flowers are everywhere: hanging from balcony walls, from windowsills, from fences, from the sidewalks. Literally – everywhere! Gerberoy even has its Rose Festival organised every June since 1928. This is why late spring and early summer is probably the best time to pack your things and go on a day trip to Gerberoy.
What L. has to say about Gerberoy
Place on L’s list: 7
Gerberoy was something we thought of visiting for a long time. We first heard of it on our road trip to Portugal this January. But we didn’t make it then, time passed, and, due to being busy exploring Portugal, we forgot about it. Until, of course, our arrival to Belgium. This autumn, when we started exploring this region, Gerberoy popped out from our memory. Actually, I even crossed it while I was off with my mum in Paris. I saw the sign, and instantly remembered the beautiful views that I saw on Google. And, funnily, when I got back, Gerberoy was the first destination that P. named that he wants to visit. So we can say that this was one of the most matured destinations we have ever had.
And we surely didn’t miss with this one! Gerberoy doesn’t hold any spectacular sights or landmarks. Quite opposite, actually. We walked through all of its streets in less than an hour, and did that really slowly with several longer stops to take several photos.
But it’s still one of the most beautiful villages I have ever visited! The thing that makes Gerberoy THE Gerberoy is harmony. When we entered through city gates1, we found ourselves in a small town that lives in a true harmony with its authenticity. Those small timber-framed houses and gardens everywhere around them are preserved and nourished for centuries. And if not several vehicles in the streets, you could think that there is none modernity whatsoever. In other words, I loved that modern stuff hadn’t interfered with the natural beauty of Gerberoy.
While walking alongside the beautiful houses we saw people beautifying their gardens and sidewalks with really high care. It left me the impression that those 100 residents feels directly responsible for how their town looks like. Not the government, or authorities, but it’s them – harmonious community – are responsible for beauty and traditions. That’s why I’m talking about harmony. Seems that the responsibility for cities authenticity goes from generation to generation. And that’s why Gerberoy seems to be preserved uniquely: cherished, nourished and protected since Middle Ages till nowadays.
Well, and those colorful timber-framed houses and gardens are really very very astonishing! Again, it’s the harmony between man’s creativity and nature. And as it’s not such a common thing these days, that is one more reason to visit Gerberoy.
What P. has to say about Gerberoy
Place on P’s list: 8
I couldn’t imagine a better time-travel experience than this. There’s only one street in the city that is really suited for car-traffic. But if you go deeper in this city – you can really let yourself forget that you’re in 2016. Also, it’s not so comercialized as Mont Saint-Michel – there are no buses, which take you to the city, nor there are many souvenir shops, which are a good reminder that you’re not in medieval times. And if you’re like me, and you want your medieval destination to look medieval – Gerberoy is perfect.
Now, I could go on about how beautiful and cherished this city is, but I’d simply repeat what L. has already said. I’d only say that it’s really one of those cities where you just loose your head. You’re just walking around and after each corner you’re like Wow! L., come see this! AND THAT!
Finally, I have to say something bad, though L. highly discourages that, because as she says – You’ve seen so much this year and these places are in your TOP-10, so it’s perfectly reasonable that those places couldn’t have anything bad, it’s just that some of them were even better than the other ones.. Well, I see her point here.
Really, there’s nothing negative about Gerberoy. The only thing that is disappointing is that you want more of this beautiful town, but after two hours you have already seen everything. I wish it was bigger2, but that’s also what prevents the city being overcrowded by tourists and that there’s no souvenir shops AND that it’s so perfectly medieval!
All in all, Gerberoy was a feast for our eyes! Though we have shared only a small part of our TOP 10 of 2016, but we can say to you, Dear Reader, that *SPOILER ALERT!* Gerberoy is the most beautiful place that we have visited in France so far. So if you ask us, you definitely should mark it on your map when planning a road trip to this wonderful country.
P. S. If you liked this, check out what a storytellers are Gerberoy windows!
Rest of the TOP 10
1. Praia da Ursa (Portugal)
2. San Sebastian (Spain)
3. Saxon Switzerland (Germany)
4. Porto (Portugal)
5. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
6. Gent (Belgium)
7. Gerberoy (France)
8. Durbuy (Belgium)
9. Mont Saint-Michel (France)
10. Colmar (France)