Paris. A sublime city with all the soaring architecture and gritty street life one could want.
The Seine is at its highest level in 30 years, and some subways are closed, which affected our planning. Our main goals were Notre Dame (Jennie and I had never been inside), Sacre-Coeur, and the Montmartre Cemetery. 10 walking miles later, we had gotten it done. That beer in the Irish Pub sure tasted good.
On the way to Notre Dame, we went by the Louvre, not going inside (been there, done that) but getting to the right spot to get proper perspective on the trompe-l'oeil covering that has been temporarily placed on the Pyramid of the Louvre.
Notre Dame is virtually the prototypical Gothic cathedral. In fact, if you look Gothic architecture in Wikipedia, the picture is of Notre Dame. It has soaring flying buttresses, pointed arches without keystones, and large rose windows of painted glass. Begun in the early 12th century, it took over a century to complete, and has had alterations since then. Scare-Coeur, on the other hand, was begun some 700 years later, and was seen as a sort of national penance for the defeat of France in
the 1871 Franco-Prussian War. It has a commanding place at the top of the Montmartre Butte, the highest point in Paris.
IN Montmartre Cemetery there are graves of many famous people, but own favorite was that of Alphonsine Plessis, a young courtesan who took as her lovers such luminaries as Alexandre Dumas (fils) and Franz Liszt. She died on February 3, 1847 at the age of 23, and yes, it was of consumption (tuberculosis). Her funeral was said to have been attended by hundreds. She inspired Dumas to write his novel La Dame aux Camélias ("The Lady of the Camellias"), which later became the basis for Verdi's famous opera La Traviata>
Okay, I have not done much with Paris, We have been here before and the city doe not interest me as much as many other places in this trip itinerary. Better stuff tomorrow, for sure.
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