It is appropriate to combine my thanks at being able to travel to Paris with a few photos of one of the most famous houses of worship in the world, Notre Dame. As we walked into the great sanctuary, a children's choir was performing. Their voices filled the air, a perfect welcome to a place I had only dreamed about since I was a child.
What a testimony of faith that those who would begin the cathredral would carry on their life's work and pass away, knowing their vision would not be fulfilled within their lifetime, but knowing the vision was true and worth their sacrifice.
We were able to take a guided English tour throughout the cathredral which greatly expanded our understanding beyond any guidebook or poor interpretation of French signage. I had not comprehended all that had happened within these walls from its inception, to the destruction during the Revolution, to Napoleon being crowned as Emporer by the Pope and beyond.
This window is one of only a few original stained glass windows left in Notre Dame.
You are looking at art that is very nearly a thousand years old. Now picture the course of civilization over the span of a 1000 years that this window has endured... In order to go up to the bell tower and scale the heights of Notre Dame is another trip altogether with an enormous and excruciatingly slow line. Not knowing if I would ever return, I convinced hubbie to wait with me. (in front of us was in Italian family with twins who were fascinated that I have no pinky toenails. my college Italian still tries to hang on, hehehe)
A few hundred steps later, we come to the first level...Great views of Paris beyond...after a hundred or so more steps...the Chimera and Gargoyles I had previously only seen in photos (oh wait, that's the hubbie!) Rubble that has fallen from Notre Dame over the years lying abandoned...The back of Notre Dame, just a thoughtfully designed as the rest of the cathredral, but a photo without the hundreds of tourist (myself among them)...