Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chartres Cathedral

At 8:15 am. we were responsible for being at the Carousel outside Montparnasse Train Station. Alyssa and I, "decided" to take the long way to get there and walk all the way around the station before finding the group. But after that the day, went pretty smooth.

We all hopped on the train, just chatting the time away, until we got to Chartres. 

Needless to say...the Cathedral was HUGEGINORMOUSMONSTROUS. Or as the french would say it, GRAND.

An old British man, named Malcolm Miller, who has been working at the Cathedral for 56 years, gave us a tour! He knows more about Chartres than I can even imagine. He sat there describing massive stain glass windows to us without even looking back. Seriously, just one scene after the other, naming the location of each square all facing us and not the window. Brilliant man.

I liked the church a lot, but my favorite thing actually was the fact that two ladies were designing fresh flower arrangements for the church. That really intrigued me, and distracted me from other things. 

(Snapped an illegal flash photo for the sake of the flowers)

Don't get me wrong, looking at immaculate, amazing, fantastic, unbelievable stain glass windows, altars, and ceilings doesn't get old. But they are hard to take in sometimes. And as you walk around, like a tourist, you see people actually sitting there trying to pray. But, I guess, when a church has survived for over 900 years and counting, it is worth the disruption of peace, right?? right??

After the tour, I explored the gardens all around the Cathedral. It really is such a cute little town. 

Fun Fact: The shirt I am wearing was given to me by my host mom. She donates clothes every year and let us pick what we wanted out of it....I love it because it is legit Parisian attire. 

I decided to explore the rest of the town...because exploring is my new favorite thing. The town was awesome. Full of cobblestone little roads, cute plants in the peoples windows and much more. It is like going back in time, and every time it makes me wish cars were never invented. You go down this perfect little street, and then a stupid metal car, just detracts from the view. 

Oh and I finally had my first Macaroon! Pure Sugar...let me tell ya!

My friend Melanie and I

Just chilling in a random alley way in Chartres. 

On my camera, somehow it set it self up so that every time you take a self-timed photo it takes 5 photos. Best thing of my life! It is my favorite thing to find a cool place, and take hilarious pictures. 

Okay, this is outside this old church I found walking around. It looked like Chartres from far away, so my friend Melanie and I went towards it, turns out it was a completely different place.

Pretty humble door, don't you think?

But inside, it was so cool! First, because there was nobody in it. I mean, not a soul. Second, because it looked like it had been used. Or maybe that it hadn't been kept up in awhile. 

On the columns, you can see the light reflecting off the windows into the church. It was so beautiful, oh my! And you can see here the sunken in floors, and the little chairs. 

And even cooler, there was some sort of archealogical dig in the back of the church. We couldn't read really what the French signs were saying, but I could read the pictures perfectly. They said that some sort of bones were found under here. It's like a mystery!! So boss!!

On the other side of the church, there was an altar. A small little gated area where people can pray to the Saint. Melanie and I, both lit a candle and sat in there for a while. It was interesting because the windows were all filled with dirt and all musty with spider webs.

But isn't it still amazing?

I thought so anyways. I felt so much more comfortable and happy here. It was all I needed. 

It always makes me laugh, how a city will take care of a tourist spot, but not a place that the town actually uses. So, to the tourist eye the city is clean and nice, but in reality there is lots going on under the surface. I love finding what I wouldn't normally get to see.

And from this and other events, I learned more about what I value. There are a million expensive things here. I literally could spend all the money I worked for months and months on, in one minute at Louis Vuitton or Prada etc. etc. I had no idea until girls here went shopping that clothes can cost that much.

And I could hang out in Notre Dame every day and see all the beautiful art...along with 50 BA-Jillion other people. 

But what I realized today, is that I rather be in a little church, and enjoy myself.

Or walk around aimlessly...not having any expectations and just loving what I find.

Or striking a crazy pose that I will remember for a lifetime...

Or spending the best 2.50 Euros of my life on a carousel ride!

Pretty cool scenery huh? That's the good ole Chartes Cathedral in the back there.

When we headed back on the train, everyone had had different experiences in the town. Some went shopping, some went into the crypt, and some sat around thinking that there wasn't much to do. I walked out of that town, feeling like I had just conquered in that town.

And I think that is my goal from now on, to make every adventure, my adventure. To see as much as I can of a place and let it give me all that it has to offer.

The day should of ended there. My roommate wanted to go home, but try a new way on the RER. I was itching to go explore the city...and as luck would have it, we got lost and we got to explore more of Paris...haha!!

We walked along the Seine River, down the Champs-Elysees, hung out at the Eiffel Tower with blankets and fake wine glasses with grape juice to celebrate two people's birthdays. And that was awesome.

But what was more awesome...I  SURVIVED BEING GYPSIED! 

Alyssa and I were chilling on this sweet bridge that crosses the Seine and this lady comes behind us, and bends down and "picks up a gold ring." She tried to hand it to me, and I was like "No, no, that's not mine." Then, she started describing how many gold carrots were in it, and how lucky I was to find it. So, she places it in my hand and walks away. I'm thinking, wierd, but hey, I'll take a ring.

I watched her walk away, but a few seconds later she turned around and came asking for food. Alyssa pulls out some pretzel bag, with like 5 more pretzels in it. The lady was not happy, so I tried to give her the ring back, but she wanted money. For a sandwich, she kept saying. So, I put the ring back in her hand and said "meilluer qu'un sandwich." That's pretty rough French, but it basically means, "It's better than a sandwich."

I was so stunned after, feeling all in my pockets and stuff. Now, I am just proud to say I SURVIVED BEING GYPSIED!!

This is moments before the whole incident...haha!

What a DAY!

1 comment:

  1. What a loverly day. I agree with everything you said. We must be related. And you need to wear that cute jacket with your red pants. I like it when you don't curl your hair and part it in the middle.