Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday in Paris: Partly Cloudy With a 100% Chance of FUN!

We awoke to a few clouds this morning, and Accuweather said rain, rain, rain. Well, they were all wet! It was a beautiful day in Paris, as usual. A few scattered clouds, but mostly sunny all day.

Our plan for the day: attend the 10 a.m. Gregorian Chant Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral. We left our apartment plenty early--we learned our lesson last night: it's always good to have a little extra time, just in case I'm not quite as smart as I THINK I am about le Metro!

This morning it was a breeze! We arrived at Notre Dame with time to spare. Here is our first view of the cathedral:

Here are a few "detail" pictures:

As we were quite early, we walked around the left side of the cathedral to a small park that's right behind it. It's a lovely little park that most people miss--we had it almost to ourselves. It's beautifully landscaped, and there are some great views of the church:

We took about 100 pictures of Notre Dame, and as good as the photos are they just don't do justice to the magnificance of this cathedral. It is awe inspiring in it's design, grandeur and beauty. I have run out of superlatives to describe Notre Dame!

We left the park, walking around the other side for some great views:

It was time for mass, so we filed into the church along with about 500 other tourists and (I assume) a few faithful worshipers also. The pews were filled to capacity.

How can I begin to describe the beauty of the service? Filled with ritual, grand organ music and exquisite voices singing, chanting and praying, it was in French, s0 we couldn't understand a word. But somehow we didn't need to understand the words, it was a lovely, spiritual experience in a setting too beautiful for words.

After the mass, we enjoyed a morning expresso at a sidwalk cafe accross the street from the church. One great French espress with cream: 6 Euros; my dining companion: perfect; the view: priceless beyond words!

Now fortified with caffiene, we were off to explore another small island on the Seine, the Ile St. Louis. This is a lovely little island, with some prime real e$tate! We wandered around the pretty, narrow streets, popping into shops that intrigued us--an olive oil shop (yummy!), some high end gift shops, and best of all, ice cream! Not just any old icream, though--it's Amorino. And we both agreed it's the best ice cream we've ever had. We chose a "petit" cone with chocolate and coffee flavors, a perfect combination! They even scoop it up and place it in the cone so it looks like a flower! Better lick it up fast before it melts--and we did!
Well, now we are fortified with cafeine AND sugar--so we're good to keep going! We head back to Ile de La Cite (this is the island that Notre Dame is on) Along the way we passed some really good street musicians, and stopped for a while to enjoy the music: Our destination: the Sunday Bird and Flower Market. It wasn't quite as big as I thought it would be, but it was very pretty, and great fun to watch the kids look at the birds and other pets.

We left the market, crossed yet another beautiful bridge across the Seine and wandered a new (for us) neighborhood. We just strolled around, exploring little side streets--taking whichever turn looked most interesting or "out of the way". By now, our tummies were growling! We found what looked like a promising sidewalk cafe, and settled in for lunch. Hmmmmm......I don't think this French waiter likes us! Oh, well! We decided that's just part of the Paris experience--and certainly he is the only rude person we have met in Paris. We've found the French people to be lovely, warm and helpful. So much for sterotypes, huh?

We were near the Georges Pompideu Centre--which is a huge modern art museum. It's architecually very interesting--and not in a good way! In fact, it was so "jarring" that we didn't even take any pictures! There is a fun fountain in the courtyard, however:

By now we were getting a wee bit tired! On Sundays in Paris many things are closed, so we decided it was a good day to spend the evening in our apartment. We found the nearest Metro and zipped right back to our neighborhood. A quick stop at our local bakery for a bagette for dinner, and on to home sweet home: 70 Rue St. Dominique! Dinner was wonderful--Bread, that wonderful french butter (by now we have THREE kinds of butter!!!) an assortment of cheese, and of course, wine! We spent a nice relaxing evening planning our week--Oh the places we'll see! And we'll share it all with YOU.


  1. I've checked and recheck and so glad I came back one more time to see that you posted about your very interesting day. Your travel planner did a great job for Sunday....and you have to meet one rude frenchman so now that is done and can be checked off. Interesting courtyard fountains...very bright colors show up good with your camera! Enjoy day # 3 - I will be waiting to read and see all of it.

  2. You have such a wonderful way with words Di. The descriptions of your experiences makes me feel, or imagine, I'm there with you. Thank you for so faithfully sharing your vacation in detail with us. I love the read and the photos. Keep it up girlfriend!! Oh yes, loved too that DavOd, your main man, was in todays photos and no other Jean Pierre's, but then it is Sunday and maybe you took a day off from the others? Was that Debbies band from Mex. on the street? Donna

  3. I don't know where to start. Your pictures are fabulous and the writing is sounds and reads like you talk and I love that. My sister Cindy is enjoying your blog too. I was a little late for work today. Couldn't get away from the blog and pictures. I wanted so badly to post a comment this morning...but ran out of time. The cathedral in Notre Dame is spectacular. You and DavOd look like your in your element. How's the mattress in your apartment? And the pillows? Why do I want to know...can't say..I just wonder about these things...LOL

  4. The statue with the water coming out of the ladies funny...kinda reminds me of someone or something in Mexico. I like the ice cream pic of you does look like a flower! Keep the highlights in your hair...I like them. Paris agrees with you both.