Paris: Churches and Modern Art


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October 1st 2018
Published: October 1st 2018
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We’ll always have Paris - Humphrey Bogart to Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca

Today was our last day in Paris - tomorrow morning we fly back home. I can’t believe we will be home tomorrow at this time. After 25 days of travelling, first to Morocco and then to Paris, it’s going to be quite an adjustment being back at home. I’m happy to return to the comforts of home, but sad too, that this trip is finished. But now, back to today.

We finished the last of our breakfast supplies, and headed off to the metro for our short trip to Notre-Dame. We got off at the Cité stop, and planned to go to Notre-Dame first, but suddenly as we walked down the street we came across Sainte-Chapelle. Ok, great, we’ll to to Sainte-Chapelle first. After a short security check line up, we got into the church quickly. What a beautiful (smallish) church. Built between 1242 and 1248 for King Louis IX, it houses the most beautiful stained glass windows. It is essentially all stained glass. What a lovely place. The main floor was beautiful, then we climbed the winding staircase up to the second level (the Chapelle Haute)
Sainte-Chapelle interiorSainte-Chapelle interiorSainte-Chapelle interior

What a lovely church
and it was astonishing. I’ve never seen so much stained glass, in such a compact space. We wandered around the church, admiring the lovely space, and read from the cards they supplied explaining all the stained glass window motifs.

I bought a cross pendant (I just liked it) and a stained glass pen at the gift shop, and we continued on our way. We walked the short distance to Notre-Dame (after Susan chatted up a Paris police officer and gave her one of the little Canadian flag pins we always take with us on trips to give away). We didn’t have to wait long in the line at all, and were soon inside the shadowy, cavernous space. Notre-Dame was built in stages, starting in 1163. The first stage wasn’t completed until 1345. In later centuries additions were built. It is astonishing to think it was built such a long time ago. It is an amazing, vast space, but I didn’t get the warm feeling I got in Sainte-Chapelle. We also checked out the treasury while we were there (for an extra 5 euros), which was interesting.

I wanted to climb to the towers, but you had to have
Sainte-Chapelle interiorSainte-Chapelle interiorSainte-Chapelle interior

With statue of Louix IX
a timed entry, and the wait would be too long, so we left Notre-Dame. We picked up a few souvenirs at one of the many souvenir shops close by, and then had a coffee creme (coffee with hot milk) at "Quasimodo Notre-Dame”, quite a cute little cafe. We then headed back to the metro to return to the Marais. I went to the shop with the cat theme that was closed yesterday, called Atsuko Matano. I got a cat mug and a little dish, to put my rings in at night. Very cute things here if you like cats! They have stores in Paris and Japan.

Susan wanted to get some macarons for the flight attendants on our return flight tomorrow, so we picked up a small box at a nearby shop (along with a pistachio marshmallow for me and a lemonchello marshmallow for Susan - homemade and delicious, not too sweet). We looked at purses at a nearby shop, but though Susan liked them she didn’t find quite what she wanted.

We picked up some sandwiches at a nearby shop, and enjoyed them with a beer (glass of wine for Mom) back at the apartment. Then we
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Louis IX statue
walked to the Centre Georges Pompidou, which is a museum of modern and contemporary art. Susan and I both really liked the modern art (starting around 1904 to the 1960s), which was on the fifth floor. There were lots of paintings we enjoyed seeing (Matisse, Kandinsky, Leger, etc). Neither of us liked the contemporary art exhibits too much, which were on the fourth floor. I guess we don’t have a refined enough taste for contemporary art! I got a really nice t-shirt and fridge magnet at the museum shop.

We returned to the apartment and packed up for tomorrow. Susan managed to cram all our Morocco and Paris shopping into our suitcases, I’m not sure how! We had a glass of wine and relaxed, happy our packing was done. Later we headed out to a nearby restaurant “Les Artisans de la Truffe” for dinner. We had a very enjoyable meal (pasta accompanied by a bottle of chardonnay) and a lovely last evening in Paris. It was so nice to see Mom so happy - I know she really enjoyed her trip to Paris.

Time to get to sleep for our early morning - our taxi comes at 6:30 tomorrow morning to take us to the airport. Good bye Paris, we will definitely be back!


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Sainte-Chapelle stained glassSainte-Chapelle stained glass
Sainte-Chapelle stained glass

The stained glass in this church was SO beautiful


3rd October 2018

Bonjour Paris, leaving hurts the heart..
Loved Notre Dame so big do old. When I stood in that cathedral I pictured the Nights Templar and the Cathars also standing there too. Lol
20th October 2018

Note Dame
Ah, I think Notre Dame has to be my favourite place in Paris. The grandeur is breathtaking, and I can only imagine what it must have been like to visit in Medieval times. Stunning. So lovely to read that your Mum had such a lovely time, as I'm sure you all did 😊
20th October 2018

Notre Dame
I actually enjoyed Sainte-Chapelle more than Notre Dame, probably because it was so much smaller and felt more manageable somehow. And its stained glass was just breathtaking. Notre Dame was stunning though, no doubt about that. And just imagine people in medieval times seeing it for the first time, wow!

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