The next morning we met up with Ron and Vicki and our first stop was to see the magnificent Notre Dame. The heavens were looking a little grey but we were being positive.
It was early and the square in front of the cathedral was empty so we thought we would take this opportunity to visit inside while is wasn’t crowded. Just like in a museum we walked around and marvelled at the beautiful stain glass and sculptures that decorated the windows and crypts within the church.
Once back outside we stopped at a café just opposite so we could still take in her grandness… No matter from which angle you look at Notre Dame, she is beautiful. As we sat and chatted, we looked over to see the crowds gathering…. not in a line … just amassing…. “hmm don’t remember tape being put up yesterday for crowd control…. didn’t think that the police where wearing helmets and bullet proof jackets “. Then BANG!!!! …. “What was that?, Oh and Garry where did you leave our backpack”….
We soon realised that the Bomb Disposal Unit had just set off a controlled explosion. The church then reopened with the all clear…. “but Garry where is that back pack?, yum I can smell toasted sandwiches” …. no only joking it was not our bag… but we assumed someone’s lunch had just been barbequed.
The many views of Notre Dame
One of the best things we did was purchase a Paris Museum Pass. We picked up our 6 day pass from the tourist booth at Gare de Nord as soon as we got off the train. It becomes valid the first time you use it and in our case it meant that for the next six days we could visit over 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris. But what really made it worthwhile was that you could jump the queue at many places including the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe.
Later on during our stay we returned to Notre Dame. The museum pass gave free entry up the tower. No queue jumping here, we had to line up with everyone else. You enter the Church tower from the side entrance and once you climb the 422 steps you are rewarded with wonderful panoramic views of Paris. Out on the balconies you come face to face with the many gargoyles that protect the church. Here you can admire the copper statues of the apostles that have turned green in time and adorn the base of the spire.
To the left Montparnasse, to the right Sacre Coeur and straight in front the iconic Eiffel Tower, from here if feels like all of Paris is at your finger tips.