Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Notre Dame, Part 1

I meant to update the blog yesterday but our Internet was out all day.  And you know what?  I actually got some things done, like dishes (which I need to do again, I think dirty dishes breed in the dark) and a lot of laundry.  Maybe there's something to be said for unplugging periodically.

Anyway, when I last left off in the Paris posts, we'd been Louvre'd out so we had lunch at the underground mall just outside the Louvre entrance, and I translated some menu items for some other Americans who didn't speak any French (thank goodness yet again that so many of the lessons had to do with things like ordering food, checking into a hotel, and buying tickets for things...exactly what I needed!).  Then we decided to walk to Notre Dame.

Saw this building on the way, no idea what it is but it was pretty.  'Cept that giant crane thing.

I want to say this is the Grand Palais but I think I'm making that up.  And despite those angry-looking clouds (OMG I think I'm turning Japanese, I almost typed crowds instead of clouds!) (I don't mean that in a mean way....it's a song lyric...) we didn't get rained on at all.  It was a bit of a hike but finally we got over to the Ile de la cite (the island in the middle of the Seine which is the heart of Paris) and found Notre Dame.

Yep, there it is.

I took this pic of Lee in front of the cathedral, and then some nice passerby offered to take our picture together.

Hey, who are those people? ; )  Of course, after this I had to go to the bathroom (I swear, when we travel I do a tour of all the public restrooms) and by the way, the public restrooms at the Eiffel Tower are nicer than Notre Dame's.  Not that the ones here are like totally disgusting, but not as nice as the ones at the tower.  And it's sad that I can rank the public restrooms.  Moving on....

Some of the famous gargoyles; Lee took this while I was in the underground bathroom.

The first one Lee took of these arches was totally crooked which made me laugh.  Seriously, why are so many of our pictures crooked now?

One of the rose windows and some ornate carving on the front of the cathedral.  Notre Dame will celebrate its 850th birthday next year, isn't that just practically inconceivable?  (You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.)

There's just so much detail to look at on Gothic buildings.  When we got back home, I watched Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame and can definitely see that the artists had spent a lot of time in and around the cathedral.

So anyway, it's free to go inside the cathedral, though sometimes there's a line to get in.  In we went.

The interior is pretty awe-inspiring.  Our camera usually doesn't take great pictures in low-light conditions; this was the best I could get.

They have these kind of swirly candle holders for the votives that I thought looked neat.

Statue of Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans.

One of the rose windows from the inside of the church.

We decided to walk back outside and join the line to go up in the tower, but they'd set up a sign that they weren't letting anyone else up there so if you go, definitely get in line before 4:30 in the afternoon.  We went back another day to go upstairs (stairs?  I love stairs!).

Remember in Hunchback of Notre Dame when Frollo is about to fall off the cathedral and he grabs one of the gargoyles and it turns into a monster face and snarls at him?  It was one that looked like these : )

Since we couldn't go upstairs that day, we found a small park behind the cathedral and sat around there for about an hour just enjoying the lovely weather and people-watching a little bit.  Actually I think we did that in three different gardens this one day, probably an hour at least in each one, and it was *awesome*.  Perhaps my favorite thing we did in Paris, just sitting down and enjoying a quiet hour or two with Lee.

Here's a view from the side that's closest to the river.  Look at that blue sky...do we luck out with weather or what?  We got rained on only once the week we were in Paris, and had gorgeous weather the whole time in Italy too.  The one day it rained in Rome, we were on the train to go to Florence.  But more about that later, once I've exhausted the Paris pictures.  Still got a ways to go with these!


CCsMom said...

I think it would have taken me HOURS to look this church over -- I would have had to examine every little nook and cranny. Isn't that something?!!!

Giffysk8s said...

Oh Miss C! I cannot stop looking at these photos. They are soooooo awesome and are really pumping me up to go there IRL! I love the architecture. And that rose window is breathtaking! Pretty soon you'll be seeing all of these same pics on my blog, minus you and Lee. :)

BTW, Brittany told me about some new phone app that lets you rate public bathrooms. How funny is that? Just think about how busy you'd be while traveling! LOL