Well, the day got off to a rough start.  First, we had decided that we had such a light day of sightseeing that we would ride the bus to Notre Dame and get a sense of the city rather than speeding through the underground on the Metro.  I might have already said that it was a goal of mine to learn how to use the buses better this time.  We got off at the Arc de Triomphe and when I looked for my phone to get the directions to the next bus, I realized I had left it at the apartment.  Not to worry, we had our unlimited passes, so we just crossed the street and waited on the bus going back to the apartment.  That took awhile, but we got back on the bus and headed downtown.  We got off the bus at the Arc de Triomphe and crossed several avenues to get to Champs Elysee and then walked down the Champs Elysee to the next bus stop.  We realized that you could see when your bus was coming inside the bus stop.  It would not be there for 16 minutes.  It was a bit early and we were ready when it arrived.  We boarded the bus and continued downtown.  We got off at the right stop then walked to the next bus stop that took us nearly to Notre Dame.  As we were walking up to the cathedral, I realized I did not bring our museum passes.  We discussed what to do and decided to just take the metro back home, pick up the passes, eat lunch and get back on the metro back to Notre Dame.  We enjoyed eating at home anyway, so this would work well.  We even had a glass of bordeaux.  Back on the metro for the quick ride downtown and to the cathedral.  It was as beautiful as I remembered it, except as usual in European cities, there was some renovation and we were unable to see the famous Pieta in the choir of the cathedral.  We still enjoyed the various chapels and, of course, the stained glass windows.  We went outside and discussed the facade of Notre Dame, using Rick Steves’ guide book.  We also found the central point of Paris and once we discovered it, then everyone came around it and we had a hard time getting a picture.  We walked around the back of the cathedral to see the flying buttresses and to also go to a WWII memorial museum for the people that lost their lives in concentration camps.  Unfortunately, the museum was closed, but we walked across the bridge to the left bank (Rive Gauche) and saw the Bouquinistes (book sellers) that are so famous.  They must wait sometimes 8 years to get a license to sell books and then there are government requirements on how often they must be open.  I had seen them before, but did not understand what they were exactly.  Now I know!!!  We took a few pictures of the back of the cathedral, which is almost more beautiful that the front, then walked around the Latin Quarter and then onto the Isle de St. Louis.  We saw how the rich Parisians lived and then stopped for some sugared and lemon crepes and 1/2 carafe of wine to rest our feet. n As we were reading the guidebook, we realized we had stopped at one of the recommended restaurants.  We then started off again and walked to the Sainte-Chapelle Church.  The line was short to get through the metal detector (much shorter than this morning) and we showed our museum passes to bypass the other short line to get in.  We went into the chapel and took a few pictures, but knew the real stuff was upstairs.  We went up a very small stone winding staircase to the upper chapel and were wowed by the stained glass windows.  We knew it would be great, but……………..    Of course, there was some renovation and we could not see the windows on our left, but it was still magnificent.  We stayed quite a while and tried to see what some of the windows were depicting.  They were so high and so intricate that it was hard to see exactly what they were, but our handy-dandy guidebook told us all we needed to know — particularly that one window showed Jesus in yellow shorts :-).  We left the Church and wanted to see the Conciergerie, but they had closed for the day.  We stopped by a little shop on the way out and I bought a ceramic bird house.  The birds around my house seem to like these things and are always building nests in them.  We stopped by the open air market and bought giant asparagus, lettuce, salmon and some pinot noir that we really liked a few days ago.  We are cooking it now and it smells divine.  I think I may have to quit typing and set the table.  Tomorrow, it is off to Chantilly on a day trip!!!  I’ll need to figure out how to get there.

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About lynntclarke

I am an attorney by trade, but love to travel. I am in my "golden" years and decided to blog about some of my trips, mainly to keep a diary of my experiences, so that I can do picture books for my travels and remember what I did each day. When you travel, you tend to forget the day before as you are having such wonderful new experiences. The blog will be there forever, I suppose, but memories fade fast. I hope you learn something worthwhile as you read. If not, then that is okay, too. Enjoy your own travels!!!

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