Tuesday, June 28, 2011

paris: day 5

i can't believe it's already been two months since i went to paris and i haven't even finished blogging about it!! perhaps that would be a good resolution next year, become a more faithful blogger.
anyway, on to day 5.

day five was about long lines and windows.

first was mass and a tour of notre dame.
let it be known, that i am now more legit than most catholics out there.
no only have i attended mass at home
(midnight mass at christmas)
i have now made a pilgrimage to and attended mass at notre dame.
during holy week.
(not to mention my pilgrimage to mont saint michel-
more on that later)

the line to go into the chapel at notre dame is crazy long, but it actually goes by really fast.
it's one of those constantly moving lines as you don't have to get a ticket, you just stroll through and take a seat if you plan on staying for the mass.
we sat down behind a very smelly and possibly homeless person 
who was using the chapel as a place to take a nap. very charming.
the windows inside are amazing.

(i could spend months in france just going around taking pictures of stained glass windows.)

after mass we stood in line for a very long time to go up to the spires.
a riot nearly broke out when a woman and her daughter tried to cut in the front of the line.
it didn't work out so well for them.
in front of notre dame

one of those famous gargoyles.

stained glass

more stained glass

waiting for mass inside

the doors to the bell tower

quasimodo's bell

the backside

after notre dame we headed over to the pantheon, 
which was nice and cool inside, 
and visited some old dead guys.

the ceiling of the main room

tombs of victor hugo and alexandre dumas. the room was roped off so we couldn't go inside, i had to make do with the writing on the wall.

i don't think craig deserves to be in this picture because he doesn't even know who antoine de saint-exupery is. we rested on this bench for several minutes, enjoying sitting down and the cool temperatures inside the building.

after the pantheon we stopped by berthillon on ile saint-louis for some ice cream/sorbet.
i got three scoops: passion fruit, raspberry, and strawberry.
they were indescribably delicious.

after berthillon we headed over to sainte-chapelle.
we barely made it in. they had actually stopped selling tickets and closed the line,
but they let us in because we had a paris museum pass.
i have to confess, sainte-chapelle wasn't really up there on my list of places to go,
and it almost got bumped off the list when we caught a glimpse of the line to go in on our way to notre dame.
but several people told me it was amazing and be sure to see it.
when we walked into the lower chapel i was a bit underwhelmed. 
i mean, it was pretty and all, but i didn't see why everyone was making a point of insisting i see it.
but when we got into the upper cathedral, it all made sense.
i think the appropriate word is awe. in was in awe. those windows!!

ceiling of the upper chapel

upper chapel

sunlight coming through the windows.

our last stop of the night was the eiffel tower.
again, we stood in line for quite some time.
and those horrid eiffel tower employees toyed with my emotions
 by opening and closing access to the top deck because of "congestion."
i told craig and neal that if i traveled all the way to paris and didn't get to the top of the eiffel tower
heads would roll.
or i would cry.
or both.
probably both.

luckily, we made it all the way to the top. and it was a madhouse.
the funniest part was that the major congestion was to go down.
hardly anyone was on the observation deck.
rather than wait in the line to go down
we ended up sitting at the top until the guards came around to kick everyone off
and chatted with some very nice people from new zealand.
i recommend the eiffel tower at night. it's really beautiful.
plus, it's really fun to be up there while the lights are twinkling. 

we got off the tower so late we ended up missing the last metro connection to our exit
and had to walk a mile or two to our hotel
which my feet were very excited about.