Saturday, December 1, 2012
I was not planning on writing about my 5 short days in the small village of Marnay-sur-Seine, but it was such a lovely place I had to at least devote one post to it. Marnay is located an hour's train ride and a ten minute taxi ride (or 45 minute walk through the countryside) away from Paris. It was not a place I would have normally visited, but an opportunity arose to visit a very talented writer at a residency program called CAMAC Centre d'Arts located there. I just couldn't pass up the chance to see another side of France. Situated right along the Seine River, the castle-like structure provide a respite from the real world. You won't find much in this town except for maybe a few locals and a whole lot of farm animals. There are no hotels to stay for the night, no restaurants, and there isn't even a bakery. You have to get your baguettes from the next town, Nogent-sur-Seine.
What I did find, however, is a place that takes you back in time to simpler days. Long walks and deep thoughts provided the backdrop of a truly lovely and relaxing week. While I was there at the end of April, while still rainy and a little chilly, the landscape was blooming and there were giant fields full of golden flowers that seemed to go on for miles. Marnay was the perfect place to catch up on sleep and take in the scenery. The wine was flowing, the food was wonderful (cooked by one of the resident artists), and the conversation was always interesting. I met people from all over the world pursuing their art. It made me want to pursue some kind of art.
While visiting the big cities in Europe are always exciting and a guaranteed good time, the smaller towns and villages are definitely worth a look. Visiting Marnay made me realize how many off the beaten track places there are in the world and how travel for me has barely begun.
For more information about the CAMAC residency program and a full review from writer Timothy L Marsh, visit: http://timothylmarsh.com/2012/06/02/camac-in-review/