Hello there everyone!
It took a bit longer than I expected to get around to my first post since my return from France. The past few weeks I’ve just been enjoying some much needed family and boyfriend time and getting my life a little bit more in order. After catching up on some reading and going through the ridiculous amount of pictures I took while abroad, I suppose I’m finally organized enough to make an actual post. I feel a tad guilty for not posting about the things I did on my trip as they were happening, but better late than never, I guess.
One of the very first things I saw while in Paris was Notre Dame. I got up with the sun and had a pretty tasty breakfast (my host family thankfully kept plenty of cereal in stock. My American stomach’s not used to having just coffee and a tiny crust of bread in the morning as is typical for French breakfasts). I rode the metro to the Saint-Michel Notre Dame stop just south of the Seine and walked across the bridge to l’Île de la Cité. In the square before the cathedral there were tourists, great hordes of tourists and flocks of pigeons, several of which were slowly enveloping one lady who had been a little too liberal with her dispersal of seed and breadcrumbs.
The inside of the cathedral was, of course, stunning in both size and in the amount of gorgeous detailed work present in every single corner. I opted to pay to get into the treasury exhibit (€4), a choice that was well worth the cost. My dad loves Catholic artifacts and things so I managed to get some nice pics for him of crosses and one very sparkly monstrance. I was also able to get up close to the lovely stained glasswork and even got to see several beautiful reliquaries. The one below actually had an enormous piece of one saint’s jawbone! It was all so wonderfully macabre and I was reminded of my serious love for Cadfael, the crime fighting monk, played by Derek Jacobi, of course.
Later as the group stood in line to climb the bell towers, it started raining a bit and I was terribly glad to have remembered my umbrella. It rained quite a bit during the three weeks I spent in Paris and a couple times I got drenched on the way home on one of those days when I didn’t pack it. The weather liked to be deceitful, pretending to be all sunny then dumping rain all over. Grr. Anyway, I must have been well prepared that day because I also chose to wear my tennis shoes instead of sandals for the lengthy climb up the towering (heh) spiral staircase to see the bells. When we all got to the top we were rather winded, but then got to see my old pal, Emmanuel, the very, very fat and happy 13-ton bell.
And then there was the view:
I’m still blown away by it.
P.S.: This post was brought to you by: Parisian pigeons who like to sit on gargoyle heads. I was the only one in the entire study abroad group who found pigeons adorable. My professor kept calling them rats with wings, but I like rats, too, so I wasn’t quite deterred from saying “aw” whenever one of the birds got all fluffy.