Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday's adventure was Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle.

We started with the Tower tour of Notre Dame.

400 steps. No lift.

The view was worth it, though. Miles got some great photos of the chimera (what people think of as "gargoyles") We could see la Tour Eiffel, Montmartre, le Louvre. Kind of cool to walk about the parapets. It amazes me how the stones are worn from over 700 years of tourists....

Next we went in to church. Hordes of people, lots of kids on field trips, toddlers in strollers. It's quite an impressive sight. But I couldn't get a "sacred" feeling.

By the time walked down the stairs, then walked through the church, I had "gone Elvis". My legs were shaking pretty badly, so we stopped for lunch at a creperie. We refreshed ourselves with buckwheat crepes, then grabbed a coffee and headed towards Sainte Chapelle, making a stop at the Jardin du Luxembourg.

The wait to get thru security at Sainte Chapelle was at least a half an hour. The chapel is in the courtyard of the Palace of Justice, which houses the Supreme Court of France and other judicial bodies. After security, we walked right into the lower chapel (complete with gift shop!), then into the "Haute Chapelle". Interestingly, the ceiling of the lower chapel, where the commoners worshipped, was painted blue, with gold fleur-de-lys, the symbol of the king. The ceiling of the upper chapel, where the royals worshipped, was painted blue with gold stars. I guess if one is a commoner, one can only lift your eyes as far as the king. But the king can lift his eyes to heaven...

After this hard day's work, we headed home, stopping at our cafe, le Comite. I think the cafes are my favorite part of Paris so far. You sit, have a glass of wine and watch the people. A wonderful way to relax.

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