There's a hiking path across the river from the Old City called "The Philosopher's Way." Part of it weaves through gardens and orchards and gives great views of the castle and the city. Part of it dives into the forest, with tall, tall trees and little undergrowth . . .
At the tail end of autumn, the path is littered with leaves. Night falls quickly, and within just a few minutes we were plunged into darkness amidst the trees. Suddenly it felt as if we could be in any century - there were no lights, no sound. It was easy then to understand why people once venerated and feared the forest, why they told stories of beasts and horrors creeping out from it, why the glow of a village could be so comforting. This was the first time I felt that the "Old World" felt really, really old. This hadn't happened while looking at ruins or old city walls. Instead, I felt it in the forest, in something that has evoked fear, awe, and worship for time out of mind.
Thankfully, there was some respite from the darkness - there's a small vineyard at the end of one path. Here, in the clearing, we could see the old city in the valley below.