June 21, 2011

Paris (Part 2)

Seeing Notre Dame was one of my most anticipated moments of our trip. We did this on the second day. It is such a beautiful church from the outside and on the inside. I can't help but feel sentimental whenever I enter a Catholic church. I am not sure what it is but I just feel closer to God. I tried to keep that mindset when at Notre Dame but it was so very difficult. While it is a church the whole place feels so disconnected to God. There are people walking around talking loudly, taking pictures of personal sacred things. As my friend Jennifer put it, It just feels dead. The architecture was beautiful and I spent some time taking pictures of some of the stained glass inside but for the most part I walked through and left quickly.

Once back outside we were able to take some fun pictures. The courtyard behind the church is beautiful as well and a nice place to have a picnic.

After we left Notre Dame we headed for a snack. I told you we ate our way through Paris didn't I? We found a cute Italian gelato shop that was recommended by Rick Steves as just as good as the famous "Bermillion" but cheaper and they let you try flavors before committing. Philip had Nutella and I had Black Cherry. It was delicious and the perfect treat for the warmest day we had in Paris.
This picture cracks me up. We had the zoom in too far and Jennifer
is in the background totally oblivious to what is going on :)
We hopped on the Metro again for a trip north to Montmarte. This is known as the city on a hill. It is on a hill that is 450 feet tall. The view from the top is absolutely breathtaking almost literally since you have to climb so many stairs to get there. At the very top is the Basilica of the Sacred Couer. Or Sacred Heart.
We went inside for just a short while. Pictures are not allowed inside this church but that is okay because a picture probably wouldn't do it justice. The murals are beautiful. If you click here you can see a picture taken from the internet of the inside. We left the church after a few minutes because Mass was going on and we felt weird intruding. Most of the tourists there did not share our same feelings which made me want to leave even more. We went outside and snapped a few photos.

After walking around outside we set off to find a meal at another Rick Steves suggested restaurant - Au Relais. We arrived at 7pm in hopes of not needing a reservation. Something we learned the first night is required at most places if you get there during the normal French dinner house (8pm-9pm). Luckily they had some tables we could sit at. We all ordered our own meals after practicing how to say them in French with Jennifer ahead of time. I ordered my first croque monsieur. It was delicious!

We really loved Montmarte and I would add it as a must see. This part of the city is full of character and Sacre Coeur is a must see!

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