the bells of notre dame

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After all the farmer’s market fun Sunday morning, Tegan and I decided to use the rainy weather to our advantage and check out the inside of one of the world’s most famous cathedrals: Notre Dame.  Remembering this venue as one of my favorite sights during my last trip to Paris, I was really excited to finally head back inside, this time knowing full well the beauty I was about to observe…or so I thought.  For a church that has stood mighty and unwavering for 850 years (this year is the exact anniversary!) somehow Notre Dame grew even more stunning than the last time I saw it 5 years ago.  I mean, could those stained-glass windows be any more gorgeous?  Gazing up at each complex surface of the church, it’s impossible not to take note of each architectural intricacy.  Every inch of this building was so well-planned, so premeditated and designed.  Created in a way that does not exist in the contemporary world.  When you’re walking down the halls of Notre Dame, there is an overwhelming sense of purpose in the aesthetic of every window pane, archway, and chandelier.  And to think it was all built before the days of cranes and fork lifts…just amazing.  I will definitely be heading back to Notre Dame to climb to the top and check out the famous bell tower up close and personal before the end of my stay here in Paris…stay tuned!

paris, le premier jour

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Our first day in Paris was more magnificent, exciting, inspiring, and dreamlike (literally, the jetlag has gifted me with this part euphoric/part dreadful dream state) than I ever could have imagined.  Fresh off the plane, we sat down to a breakfast of apricot confiture crêpes et thé- so refreshing.  Then it was off to buy some “navigo passes”, which allow us to travel publicly around the entire city for free during the whole mois de Juin (cut to funny story about how terrible our mandatory photobooth portraits that now grace our passes came out, another gift courtesy of the jetlag).  Next up was a little stroll by le Notre Dame, which is celebrating its 850th anniversary- Bon Anniversaire, Quasimodo!  After that we enjoyed a lovely plat du fromage et charcuterie et un verre de vin…UM, YUM.  There are no words to describe how good that meal was.  The French really know how to dine.  Aprés le diner, Tegan and I felt like sleeping.  But it was only 7, so instead we rushed ourselves on over to the Iron & Wine concert at La Cigalle.  This was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my entire life.  The venue was so beautiful and the show so intimate.  Like the band loved having us there and we were all friends.  At one point, everyone in the audience was allowed to shout out songs they’d like to hear (Tegan and I were screaming BOY WITH A COIN! louder than I’d like to admit), which he didn’t play- until he came back out for the encore and said, “I think I heard someone say Boy With a Coin?”….we were absolutely giddy.  Following the concert, we came outside and bumped in the trumpet player, and after getting acquainted and telling him how much we enjoyed the show, we all went out for a drink at the closest bar.  He bought us our first Patisse, a very strong licorice flavored drink that I bravely choked down despite my aversion to its pungent taste.  When in France you try new things, oui?  So we did.