Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Tuesday in Paris--and what better way to start our day than with dessert?  We didn't eat our "Monday dessert" last night, we were just too tired and still full from our delicious mussel dinner.  So we had dessert for breakfast!

The big chocolate "haystack"was very good-it was actually two meringues stacked and covered with chocolate mousse, and dusted with chocolate sprinkles. Pretty darn good!  The berry tart was great as usual, each berry was perfect and tasted as good as they look.  Not to worry, though--we couldn't quite eat all our dessert, sadly we threw away the leftovers.  We'll have more tonight!

 After our crazy breakfast of scrambled eggs and desert, we hopped on the Metro to go to one of my favorite cathedrals-Notre Dame of Paris.  We were very early, so we did a quick tour of the interior (we'll be back on Sunday for a Gregorian Chant Mass), then we sat in a cafe across the street and enjoyed an espresso.  Soon it was time to join the line and wait for our turn to climb the bell tower.  Dave and I did this last year and really enjoyed it.  We knew Matt would love getting so close to those amazing gargoyles.

Here are a few of our favorites:

This lovely guy is eating a rabbit.  Notice how his eyes are rolled back, he must really be enjoying that rabbit!

David and Matt entering the bell tower:

Beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower with Invalides (gold dome) and St. Chapelle

David and Matt walking down those 300 steps:

I love this pic of David!

After leaving Notre Dame we crossed back over the Seine and wandered around the Latin Quarter.  I love those narrow winding streets.  We had lunch at a small cafe serving Turkish food, which was delicious.  I guess David and I are "in training" for trip to Turkey next week!

Next stop--my very favorite church in Paris, St. Severin.  I love it's ancient beauty and serenity.  Here's the view toward the altar:

A close up on one of the windows:

 St. Severin has an huge pipe organ.  I'd love to hear it!

A view of the vault behind the alter:

After St. Severin we walked over to St. Chapelle.  Just as I expected, there was a loooong line, and it wasn't moving too fast.  But we toughed it out, and soon we went through security (again, just like an airport).  While we stood in line we visited with a nice couple from Florida, which helped pass the time.

St Chapelle is a beautiful cathedral, it's stained glass is considered to be some of the most beautiful in the world.  It IS amazing!  The interior is gothic like Notre Dame and St. Severin, but every surface is decorated with beautiful and vibrant painted finishes.

Some examples of the painted finishes:

  The vaulted ceiling over the altar:

Detail of the top of a column:

Vault detail:

And the spectacular stained glass windows!  It's hard to tell from these pictures, but these windows are HUGE!  David estimated they are 35-40 feet tall.  They are amazing works of art; very detailed and the colors are still vibrant and lovely.  

The windows behind the altar:

One of the huge side windows:

This is just one panel of the large window above:

 And detail from that panel:

 Rose window opposite the altar.  Note the missing pieces--they are being restored:

As soon as we finished at St. Chapelle we Metro'd back to our apartment.  We had work to do---even on vacation laundry needs to be done!  Doesn't Matt look thrilled?  That nice lady you see in the background was so kind and helpful.  We must have looked a little perplexed as she asked if we needed help.  We sure did need help!  She so graciously walked us through each step--even giving us advice  on what temperature water to use!   As soon as we loaded our wash into the washer, we walked to our neighborhood bakery to pick up a couple of baguettes and choose our "desert of the day".  We picked up an extra one to give to her for a thank you, she was so pleased.  I told her it was a Tarte Framboise (raspberry tart) and she told me that her name was Francoise and she loves framboise, and that we had spoiled her!   What a nice lady.  We have found the French to be lovely, helpful and kind, and have enjoyed our interactions with them.

I left Matt and David to finish the laundry, and I walked the short 1 1/2 blocks to our apartment to get dinner ready.  We had our old Paris standby--baguette, cheese, sausage and a nice crisp green apple. 

Last night we visited a small fromagerie  (cheese shop) right around the corner from our apartment. We had quite a time choosing cheese, but the nice gentlemen tried his best to help us.  It was very interesting that he asked us when we were going to eat the cheese, and then carefully checked several pieces to select one that would be just the correct "ripeness" tomorrow.   He sure knows his cheese, because they were absolutely delicious today!  The triangular cheese is a triple cream brie, and the 1/2 round is Camembert.  The small slices are a nice Gouda that Matt chose, and of course that lovely yellow chunk is some of the great French butter with sea salt flakes.  Dad, I ate some for you, too!

Yummy baguette:

And of course--"Dessert of the Day"  A nice raspberry tart--flaky layers of pastry with a really good custard in the middle.  Matt has been seeing macarons in the pastry shop windows, and was intrigued.  He chose a pistachio, a banana with chocolate filling, and a raspberry!  We all thought the raspberry was the best, but agreed that macarons are kind of overrated--way too sweet!

Another wonderful day in Paris has come to an end, and we enjoyed every minute of it.  Matt really enjoys exploring the great cathedrals--guess he comes by that naturally!

Tomorrow:  The Palace of Versailles!


  1. O.K...... having to look at that picture of all the yummy cheese selections was JUST TOO MUCH! Following a fairly lousy day, I came home to that beautiful, delicious looking picture of your cheese selections and I must admit..... cheeeeeeese was a BIG PART of my dinner this evening! So much for restraint!

    Your pictures are wonderful - the gargoyles would be fun to see and the stain glass windows are so beautiful. The picture of the pipe organ reminds me of my trip to Wiesbaden. The Lutheran church in the heart of the city also has a wonderful pipe organ. Wouldn't you love to hear this one being played? You all look so happy - I can tell you are having a wonderful time...... first clue might be the desert for breakfast. How simply awesome!

  2. Dessert---what a great way to both start and end your day. The pictures of the stained glass windows are amazing. Looks like you are all having a wonderful time.