Sunday, August 21, 2011

Second day in Paris!

So to all of my friends that ever told me a) Paris is a filthy city, b) Parisians hate Americans and are, as a result, outright rude to Americans, and/or c) it would not live up to my expectations (because of one of the two previous points, or even for some other reason entirely), I say "pooh, pooh" to you! I LOVED my time in Paris. I was not disappointed. Paris wasn't really any dirtier than any other city (on that scale) I've visited. And absolutely none of the Parisians were rude to me, at all! In fact, the only thing that got in my way of having the perfect time while there was the phone heist. That was it. Everything else was AMAZING!!!! (Well, okay, the bed wasn't too comfortable, and as a result I didn't sleep well, but that was because of my hotel selection, not because of it being Paris.)

We started Saturday off bright and early, and having learned our lesson about the benefits of the Metro system while in London (plus how long it took us to walk to and from the Eiffel Tower the night before! LOL), we went straight to the Metro. For anyone traveling in a large, European city with similar means of getting about, they often have a pass you can use to get around for a set number of days (or as we did in London, a card you could "recharge" with money to continue using the Underground). Misha and I got the 1-day pass (which covered an unlimited number of uses of the Metro system for the entire day, which included the Funicular in Montmarte!) and hopped on board. I am soooooooo grateful that we learned how the Tube in London functioned before going to Paris! It made getting around easier than I could ever express.

1-Day Metro pass for Paris (well worth the Euro!!!)

Our first stop was at Notre Dame. (And no, that is not pronounced the way Americans say it in reference to the University. ::shudder::)

Crossing the bridge to Île de la Cité

One of the doors on the cathedral

Gargoyles of Notre Dame

The West Front (main entrance) façade

Statue of Jeanne d'Arc in Notre Dame

We actually got to witness something while at Notre Dame that I doubt few can truthfully claim to have also seen. A wedding inside Notre Dame! Heck, how many people can say that they have been married there? Even fewer! LOL That would be an amazing experience, to be sure!

The High Altar with Nicolas Coustou's Pietà
 Upon further research, the official website for Notre Dame de Paris says that as they do not belong to a parish, they do not do weddings (or baptisms or funerals) there, but I don't know what else this could have been...hmmm....

The Rose Windows (yes, plural...there are 3 of them!) were absolutely breathtaking, and I absolutely love stained glass.

The West Rose Window and the Grand Organ

I lit a candle in memory of both deceased grandparents
 Entrance into the cathedral was free, as it is a church, but we did pay the fee to go into the Treasury. I think it was well worth it!

Part of the scene of Death of Sainte Geneviève in the Treasury of Notre Dame

Stained glass in the Treasury of Notre Dame

A beautiful crown of sorts in the Notre Dame Treasury (I'm guessing for ceremonial purposes)

Base of a display in the Notre Dame Treasury
We could have also chosen to pay to go up to the tower and gotten some amazing views of the city, but in hindsight, I'm glad that we didn't, otherwise we'd have fallen over later in the day! LOL Had I realized we could have gone into the crypt, however, I likely would have tried to! (There is an episode of Smallville with Lana Lang in Paris doing an art project involving a certain Countess Margaret Isobel Thoreaux....)

And that was just the beginning of the day!


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