When my wife Reiko and I were visiting France in the summer of 2008, beautiful sceneries of a small village in a Japanese travel magazine caught our eyes. It was about the village called ‘Gerberoy’ in the region of Picardie, north-west of Paris, apparently very famous for its roses. We immediately rushed to the village.
The veil of the village at the time of our visit was changing its color from roses to hortansia. The colorful hortansia was as beautiful as roses and we fell immediately in love with this village. It was the post-impressionist painter, Henri Le Sidaner who contributed to beautify this medieval village. We also learned that there are over 150 such beautiful villages in France and we immediately decided to visit all of them together during our remaining life. This has changed the life-style of our retirement. We managed to complete our ‘tournee’ in 2016, i.e. in 8 years.
While no one may appreciate its value and some may even cynically comment that we simply wasted our money and energy, we are filled with the sense of satisfaction that we managed to achieve what we have dreamed together.