France – Jour 6

Today we were going to church… 2 of them actually.  Even our Fat Bike Tour Guide says that everyone who comes to Paris goes to see Notre Dame – but he confirmed for me that Sainte Chapelle was the more inspiring, and if you had to choose – you should do Sainte Chappelle.   Fortunately, we didn’t have to choose as we had both on our itinerary for today.

First some breakfast, back at our local boulangerie – this time I couldn’t resist the pain du Belgique (middle) – chocolate and crème patissiere!  Hello!

We set out for our walk to Ile de le Cite – of course, there was another view of the Seine that we couldn’t resist taking a photo of.

We decided that we should do Notre Dame first because apparently the line gets unbelievably long. There was already a line, but it moved really quickly – and in we went.

It is immensely grand in scale – it’s hard to believe that the French people used it as a market storeroom for animals and other stock just after the revolution.  Apparently it was so disgusting in there – it took 25 years to clean!

Oh darling…. you seem to have lost your head….

We went around the back of Notre Dame to take some shots of the flying buttresses – don’t you just love saying that … flying buttresses!  Anyway… we came across this cute French band playing on Pont St Louis.

Ahhh…. such a quintessential Paris experience…

And an artist working on capturing his own image of Notre Dame….

Autumn Streets

We moved across to Sainte Chapelle – which is also on Ile de la Cite.  The line to see her was much longer… and moved a lot slower.   We had to go through an x-ray machine and security screening.  Fortunately, once we were through we were able to skip the next line with our Museum Passes and go into the chapel without waiting.

This is a picture of the pre-Chapelle chapel… and gift shop… you have to go through this, then climb the stairs to the actual chapel. Not bad for the chapel off Chapelle though…

Oh my goodness… you have to climb this tight spiral staircase to get to the chapel – but when you walk in, your breath gets taken away.  It is a chapel that is almost entirely made of stained glass. Stunning.

There is this lovely outside area where you can sit for a while and look into the church….

I loved this guy – he seemed so happy….

At the moment they are restoring all of the stained glass – which means painstakingly taking every piece of glass out of the window and cleaning it all around.  You can see what a difference it makes though….

Before… After

Sainte Chapelle is much smaller than Notre Dame – tiny actually.  So it didn’t take us long to sit there and soak up the atmosphere…  before our tummies started grumbling….

For lunch we just chose a very touristy bistro – but there were quite a few French people in there.  That’s generally my measure of whether or not we should eat there.

I had the confit duck with mashed potatoes.  Really divine – all washed down with some decent red wine.

Andrew had a hamburger – are you detecting a trend?  He noted that they ask you how you would like your hamburger done in Paris – something they don’t ask you back in Australia.

A couple of Cafe Le Zimmer patrons… do you think he knew I was taking a photo?

We then meandered back home, taking some random photos through the street.

For dinner tonight, I decided that I would get some benefit from my foodie tour – and we would actually eat at home.  We trotted down to Rue Montorgueil – and basically retraced the steps our foodie tour took.  A baguette, some cheeses,  some desserts, and some cured meats later – we returned to the apartment.  We had to go back for our roast chicken and potatoes – as they weren’t ready yet.  Alas – we got our first rain this afternoon – but a €5 umbrella helped!!

Look at that spread – how gorgeous!!  It was nice to just relax in the apartment – kick back and watch a DVD while we feasted on gorgeous French food.  The wine was from our Des Mets des vins shop – just down the road.  €12 for a stunning drop!

And of course… don’t forget dessert…. a great way to finish the day… real chocolate eclairs and rhum baba chantilly!