Every summer we spend a week in the French town of Uzes. It is a magical place and we love wandering through its narrow lanes, buying food from the market and having dinner outdoors in the main square, the Place aux Herbes. The center of this medieval town is entirely pedestrianized and with its towers, battlements and flags, it’s like stepping back in time.
Every evening we take a late-night stroll through the quiet streets, eating ice cream and imagining musketeers dashing through the town. One crooked lane is even called “Rue de l’Epee”, or “Sword Street”! Just a few hours later the streets are crowded and bustling again, particularly on market days, when it can be difficult to move at all. There is usually some kind of festival on the weekend, whether it’s fireworks to mark Bastille Day, herding of bulls through the streets or, one year, a parade with a giant mechanical dragon.
The charm of Uzes is that it feels so ancient, and yet at the same time so vibrant and alive. There always seems to be something going on, but then you turn a corner and are in a quiet courtyard that looks just as it would have centuries ago. We love feeling like part of the ebb and flow of the town’s life, even if it’s just for one week a year.
Kirstin Mckee is a London-based family doctor who loves food and photography.