Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday in France

We'd done our research to know that there is always a long line to climb the tower at Notre Dame Cathedral, even mid-week in January. So we got an early start and headed over, stopping to take a brief tour of Sainte-Chapelle, since it was also included in the museum pass. The stained glass was gorgeous, and this is also worth a future visit when we have more time to figure out all of the 1,000+ biblical stories they depict.
Notre Dame is just a couple of blocks away.
When we got to the tower line (good thing the guide books tell you it's around the corner to the left because it isn't very well marked) there were only a couple of people in line.  Because they only let a limited number up at a time, even though we were near the front of the line, we still had a wait of a half hour or so. I can only imagine what it would be like in the summer! It also wasn't very clear as to where you purchase your tickets to go up, so in case you ever need to know, it's after you go through security and up the first set of stairs. There happens to be a little gift shop there, and we decided Brooke needed a Quasimodo to accompany her up the stairs. He was happy to see his bell at the top, where the view was great, even if it was obscured by ugly black netting. (FYI, strollers aren't allowed up these stairs either, but at least they had a place to store them at the bottom.)
Once at ground level again, we walked through the inside of the cathedral.
The artwork and details are amazing and mind-boggling, but I still like our temples better. I think a lot of that is due to light. These old cathedrals are kind of dark and damp. Wayne detoured to see the treasury; maybe the rest of us should have as well, because he said it was quite fascinating.
We did took a few minutes to check out the crypt. I thought it would be filled with coffins of old priests, but it was really a series of exhibits on how Paris was founded.

Then it was time to cross the bridge and walk through the Latin Quarter on our way to the Jardin du Luxembourg so that Brooke could play on the playground.

She was kind of disappointed that there weren't any swings. We thought it was interesting that you had to pay to go inside. However, because it was damp and misty and cold, she had the huge playground all to herself. That probably wouldn't happen in summer either.
By then it was raining a bit harder and we were all hungry, so we found someplace to eat lunch and then we visited the Musee de l'Armee. First up was Napoleon's Tomb, and then we walked through the World War I and World War II exhibits.

Once again we stayed until closing time. While it might have been nicer without the rain, we still had a wonderful Friday in France.

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