The next morning we woke up, dressed up all fancy-like, and headed out the door for a VERY packed Sunday in Paris. We had delicious croissants at the hostel for breakfast, then made our way to Notre Dame de Paris for Mass. Yes, THE Notre Dame. We didn't see Quasimodo or Esmerelda, but it was SO beautiful - both the Mass and the walk around the Church we took afterward. The crucifix is an image of the Pieta, and the artwork is remarkable.
The lovely ladies all dressed up for their Sunday in Paris!
Statue of St. Anne and the Blessed Mother
Beautiful Rose Window!
After Notre Dame, we started searching for Shakespeare and Co. - one of the most beautiful bookstores this bibliophile has ever laid eyes on. It has LOTS of books, a piano to play, reading rooms, and a nook where people leave notes. I left one for you all =)
It smelled of books too. =)
Such a beautiful instrument! I got to play Greensleeves.
After that, we pushed Mickey in the Seine. Here's an action shot:
Luckily one of the boats caught him so we could continue on our way. Next we visited San Chapelle. It's no longer a functioning church, but used to house really cool relics from Christ's Passion. Now it's just a BEAUTIFUL building with walls that are literally entirely stained glass. It very literally took my breath away as I came up the stairs into the main sanctuary. None of my pictures will even come close to doing it justice, but here's what I have:
The windows cover almost the entire bible left to right around the room, with a special emphasis on Old Testament books concerning idol worship. The Passion windows are especially beautiful, as are the ones on Esther. Such a tall order, constructing the Bible in stained glass!
After San Chapelle, these champion tourists were feeling weary. When we get weary, we do one of two things: get ice cream or nap. There wasn't a park close by, so ice cream it was. We went to La Maison Berthillon which has what might be the best ice cream in all of France. If you don't believe me, google it and see what other people have to say. Seriously, SO GOOD. And even better, I think, when you eat it along La Seine =)
Just a little stand that serves up big deliciousness!
After that, we walked along the river for a while, took lots of pictures, and made our way to the whole reason we got so dressed up in the first place (besides Mass)...
The Eiffel Tour! It is much smaller in person than I would have thought, but still pretty cool. We chose one of the lawns near it for our daily nap time, and ate lunch there too. Lunch was a baguette with ham and cheese. Yum.
Seriously, what is more French than a baguette and Le Tour Eiffel??
After lunch/nap time, we went to the lawn on the other side of the Eiffel Tour, which apparently is the Parisian version of the National Mall in DC. There we took lots and lots of pictures. I've only posted one here, but many more are on facebook.
Beautiful day in Paris!
Les quatre amis =)
I found Waldo!
The view facing away from the Eiffel Tower. Look like another major city in the world we know??
Sunset under the Tower
After that visit, on the way back toward town, we came upon a photo exhibit that focused on artists from outside the Western World. There were all sorts of collections, including ones about teenage suicide, grandmas playing soccer, consumerism, and even just people's eyes. The best part was that each had a mini bio of the photographer as well as the story behind the collection you were viewing. We didn't take any pictures of their pictures, since it was a photography exhibit and we thought some of them may be copyrighted, but this is the website to look up the exhibit: http://www.photoquai.fr/en/2011/accueil.html
We then treated ourselves to a delicious Italian dinner complete with, if I remember correctly, a scrumptious chocolate dessert with vanilla ice cream. Yummm. All in all, a pretty darn successful day in tourism, if we do say so ourselves =) It was definitely one of our favorite days of the trip.
More to come later... Love and peace!