We have been chasing the sights, sounds and tastes of Paris that we hit a wall. This morning, we slept in and didn’t get going until 10:00 a.m. Sacrilegious to all of the annal-retentive travelers, but necessary for us.
We needed a moment to just breathe.
I am amazed at how easily we have adapted to the rhythms of Paris. Of course, we are on vacation and not working…but still. Breakfast from the crepe stand, an espresso for me and we are ready for our next adventure.
First to Notre Dame to take in the atmosphere and wealth of spirituality that pours from the statutes, small side chapels and vastness of the space. I can sit inside this cathedral for hours, but a 16 year old would never have tolerated that kind of inactivity (especially without use of her cell phone). A full model of the building was displayed in one of the alcoves, which proved fascinating to my daughter. Not the famous statues or bas reliefs…
On to Montmarte and Sacre Coeur. Getting there was a bit of a challenge by Metro – three change of trains/subways, but we made it without incident to the Abysses Station. Many narrow streets beckoned, but we stayed the course and found the Place due Tetra where the artists have set up their easels. After walking around, we chose the artist to paint her portrait. How amazing to see him swiftly stroke the charcoal, outlining her face and its major features, then going back to add the detail. A crowd stood behind and watched silently admiring his skill. The end result was everything we hoped it would be!
Next it was the steps leading up to Sacre Coeur and the great cathedral itself. We enjoyed seeing the wonderful painting of Jesus after the Resurrection, which is painted onto a dome over the altar. But it was the trip up to the Dome that got us excited.
It is 300 steps upwards on a small round staircase that seems to go on forever. We walked through a narrow alley to reach the next level and discovered the skyline of Paris. A strong breeze wrapped around us as we slowly walked around the perimeter of the dome, taking pictures as we went. And then we saw it – the Eiffel Tower in the distance! It was great fun to see who could take the most creative photo of the Eiffel Tower with a gargoyle.
Retracing our steps down the 300 steps, and on down the hill, we found the Metro station and made our way home. To a relaxing time on the terrace, jazz music playing from the apartment across the way, liquid note floating on the evening air.
Yes, it is good to take a moment and just…breathe.