Sunday, August 22, 2010

Downpour and Sanctuary at Notre Dame

Bastille Day began with the promise of blue skies and a sunny holiday...
Notre Dame was beautiful--not at all like the dark, looming version Disney portrays. Isn't it beautiful?
Notre Dame, right along the Seine River--which of course we stopped at to take pictures. As we were there taking turns with the picture taking--seriously, only five minutes tops--the blue sky suddenly disappeared...
and left us with this!
We sprinted across the bridge to Notre Dame, crying for sanctuary the entire way--which we did find in the cathedral thank goodness. However, we were soaking wet by that point--I didn't even have time to open my umbrella until we there!
Although we sloshed and dripped through the entire place, at least we got to see it--breath taking.

The rain did let up for a minute--just enough to see the facade and outer sculptures.
What are gargoyles for? Well, to carry water from the roof away from the cathedral--and check it out, it totally works! :)
After Notre Dame, we figured we'd hit Sainte-Chapelle as well--the one thing in Paris I was so excited to see. Sainte-Chapelle is another gothic cathedral, but this one is almost entirely glass--from what I've heard, it's absolutely heavenly! Of course, I wouldn't be able to say whether or not this is true myself, since we never made it inside the dang place! We tried two days in a row--the first on this wonderful Bastille Day; sadly the sudden flash flood we experienced that day knocked out the power for the week. What do they need power for? It's a glass cathedral! Oh well. Just my luck, right? No worries though, it was an adventure of a day, so I can't complain. :)

Here we are--soaked to the bone--futilely trying to dry off while waiting to see if we can get in. That's the closest I made it to Sainte-Chapelle. Next time.
After Sainte-Chapelle we just spent the day TRYING to find ourselves--aka, we got lost for the rest of the afternoon. Although we didn't get to see all the little museums we originally had on our itinerary, I did get to see the ENTIRE city of Paris by the end of the day! Sometimes getting lost has its benefits. ;)
The center of the city:

Eventually we had made it around the entire city, getting lost at pretty much every turn. French people don't give good directions I've decided.

The rain doesn't help too much either: that's our map by the way... at least what's left of it.

and just when we thought we had found the Pompidou Museum...
turns out we had come all the way back around to the backside of the Louvre! That's right; we started at the front of the Louvre, took a random tour around the entire city of Paris (in a downpour mind you), and somehow made it back to the Louvre again! Yeah, Mia's reaction here is pretty much how we all felt at this point:
But of course, it was a heck of an adventure--especially because of the rain--what a way to spend Bastille Day in Paris!
(And don't worry, we did dry off enough to enjoy the fireworks later that night.)

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