Thursday, June 28, 2012

Notre Dame

Julie and I are such great travel buddies as neither of us are obsessed with being out the door at the crack of dawn to see everything there is to see in a city!  After all, if you see everything on your first trip, there would be no reason to return, right?  We headed out around 10:00am so we could avoid the morning rush hour on the metro with our destination being Notre Dame.  The Paris metro system is pretty easy system to navigate and having the Passe Navigo is fabulous!

A few blocks from the metro stop we see Our Lady and she is beautiful!

Budding young artists outside of Notre Dame...they were very focused on drawing the cathedral!

Outside of Notre Dam is Point Zero.  This is the center of France and the point for which all distance in the country is measured.  Quote of the trip came as just before I took the picture, I began counting as though our feet would smile when I said "three".

We arrived about half way through the daily mass so I was able to take part.  The good thing about being Catholic is that even if the mass is in a different language, you can usually tell where they are in the mass by where you standing and kneeling.  After mass, I met up with Julie and we explore the beautiful church.  Unlike Sacre Coeur, you are able to take pictures but can't use a flash so many of the photos do not do justice to what we saw.

After touring the cathedral, we headed over to the one of the most expensive neighborhoods of Paris, Isle St. Louis.  A short walk across the bridge and it seemed as though we were miles away from the hustle and bustle of Paris.

A friend used to live in Paris and told us about her favorite bistro on the Isle St. Louis so we made our way.  Lunch at  Les Gourmands at 52 Rue St Louis en l'Ile was fabulous.  We had onion soup (absolutely wonderful...much less salty and higher grade of cheese than we have in the US) and a large salad of the freshest greens...almost as though they had just picked them before serving us.  The restaurant is very small...only 8 tables...but so very charming...old stone walls and exposed beams. 
We strolled the streets and made our way back to the bridge back to Notre Dame.  It was a very warm day so we took a little break to try Berthillon ice cream as it is supposed to be the best in Paris.  I must say it was quite tasty...but expensive (each of our desserts were €13).

We stumbled upon the Pont de l'Archevêché (Love Lock Bridge). A couple writes their names on a lock and then throws the key in the river to symbolize their never ending love. 

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