Paris and Chartres

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Paris and Chartres

We got up slowly, ate a leasurely breakfast and headed towards the Louvre. Our bus tour to Chartres left at 1:45P, so we had some time to walk around. We stopped at the Sennelier shop (they sell artist supplies and Aviva loves to shop there when we’re in Paris). We walked by a statue of a nude woman reclining that had some graffiti scratched into the strategic parts.

The weather has actually been cool, and so we stopped at a couple of tourist shops to get Aviva a wrap to help her stay warmer. Somewhere along the way I lost my sunglasses – we’ll try to retrace our steps tomorrow if we have time to see if we can find them (probably left them in a store we purchased things in). We ate at L’Imperial, a cafe on Rue de Rivoli. We sat across from an interior designer who works for a large multinational company; we talked for a while (he lit a cigarette and Aviva asked about the new laws in Paris about smoking – that started the conversation).

We went over to the Cityrama, waited in line and finally got on our bus to Chartres; it takes about 1 1/2 hours to reach the town. The cathedral is still visible miles from the town; its up on a hill overlooking the tributary that feeds the Seine.

On the walk up to the cathedral, we walked through an interesting park with some strange sculptures, mostly dedicated to World War II.

The cathedral is famous for its stained glass windows – Chartres is located in a spot rich in sand very good for making glass, and they still make stained glass there today. The most famous color is blue – apparently the quality of the glass and the local cobalt made for a very rich blue color. There are windows in the cathedral that date back to the 1200’s, the windows over the entrance.

The cathedral houses a piece of the veil of the virgin. In addition, there is a sculpture of the virgin on a pedestal which is revered. There are three pieces of the veil – one on display here, one in the museum in Chartres and one in a Swiss vault, all just in case….

The tour was quite good, but too short – another 1/2 hour on our own would have been nice. I bought a paper model of the cathedral, which I put together over a month – here is a link to the English language brochure that came with the model, and here’s a link to my blog to see how the model was assembled. We took the bus back to Paris. We walked over to Yen at 265, Rue St Jacques, a Japanese restaurant – I had a Japanese curried duck and Aviva had tempora with soba noodles.

We walked over towards the hotel, got some gelato and then crashed.

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