|Subject: Paris 03 Travelogue, part 2|
My Paris travelogue continues:
After breakfast we headed over to Sainte Chappelle (http://www.paris.org/Monuments/Sainte.Chapelle). This is where the Carte Musee worked its magic. As we approached the entrance it began to rain. We went right around the line for tickets and entered. No wait, no standing in the rain. We oohed and ahhed over the windows like everyone else, then walked over to Notre Dame when the rain stopped. We toured Notre Dame (http://www.paris.org/Monuments/NDame) in three parts, the Crypt, which is now a museum displaying the ruins of the original city, the Cathedral, and then the Tower.
The crypt was interesting, but most of the information displayed is explained in French only, so its a bit harder to follow. Jerry loves any kind of ancient ruin so he was happy. We definitely wanted to learn more about Paris history. When we entered the cathedral proper, by the way, we saw no one stopped by the modesty police, and as it was a hot day, many women were in tank tops and shorts. We did see one older tourist posing for a flash photo in front of the Virgin Mary (I think) having climbed over the velvet rope to do so. She was promptly removed from the area by a guard, thank goodness. As it was Charlotte's first visit to Notre Dame, we spent quite a while making our way along all the stations and chapels, and she explained many of the bible stories depicted to us.
We were ready for lunch so we headed to a nearby cafe (can't find the name) for a quiet lunch. By this time, I'd received a couple of emails on my phone asking Jerry to check in with his office, so we found a nearby internet cafe and checked email for a half hour. Thus refreshed we headed back to the Cathedral tower, stood in line for a bit, then climbed up the narrow staircase to the top. We loved seeing the gargoyles up close, and felt we had a much more intimate tour of the church this way, since many who take the trouble to climb up don't go all the way. Definitely worth the effort, especially when you climb into the bell tower.
After so much physical effort (for me, anyway) a cold drink was in order. We repaired to the cafe across the street for a citron presse and beer, then took a taxi up to the Musee d'Orsay (http://www.musee-orsay.fr). We would have taken the batobus or metro, but it was so hot, a nice air-conditioned ride was just what we needed.
The Orsay had not yet opened when Jerry and I last visited Paris, 14 years ago, on our honeymoon. It was just as wonderful as we had heard, but we knew we could not see it all in one afternoon. Charlotte opted for the audiotour, and we proceeded upstairs to the Impressionist section. We had seen most of these before at the Jeu de Paume, but we were thrilled to see some of our favorites again. Our excitement was marred a bit by the tourists who posed their family members in front of the paintings and then took flash photographs, despite the presence of signs (in French and English) and guards (who did nothing).
Walked back to the hotel along the Quai St. Germain, took a quick nap, then had another ordinary dinner at Brasserie La Source. More like a bar with food, but much cheaper than Thoumieux, so less of a letdown.
Elizabeth, in Chicago http://homepage.mac.com/ejgiese/Menu6.html