Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Views from Notre Dame-top 3

It's impossible to answer with just one thing when people ask what was my favorite part of our Paris vacation. And so, like any list maker, i have settled on a top 3. My previous post on the Eiffel Tower and its gorgeous night views from a small park below is definitely number 1. Number 2 of my favorite things and something not to be missed was climbing the 400 spiral stairs to the top of Notre Dame on a clear day. The views were amazing, the gargoyles were a real treat to see up close, and you came away with the feeling of how accessible Paris is. It's a big city that felt small-to be able to point out Sacre Couer in Montmartre, and see the relation to where the Eiffel Tower was-I can see how this is a walkable city. Also, you didn't really think there'd only be one post about France, did you?  No no no, my friends. No no no.

So going into the church itself is free (get there early, there will be a line), but to climb the towers there is a fee and also a line. Because there isn't a lot of room at the lookout areas, and you're going up small winding steps, they limit the amount of people going in at one time which creates the line.  First you climb to the level with the gargoyles, which is underneath the very tall arched windows at the top.  Then you climb to the towers at the very very top, that you can barely make out from this angle and didn't know were up there until we came out of them.


At an art show, i bought a photo taken at this exact spot, with that exact gargoyle looking out onto the Eiffel tower.  You have no idea how badly i have wanted to recreate that shot myself and this is why one schlepps a DSLR around, even a basic one.

 On the bottom right, at the tip, is the Deportation Memorial honoring and remembering the 200,000 French citizens who were sent to concentration camps during WWII.  As a Jewish person, i seek out my culture in our travels, so in addition to the Deportation Memorial we also went to the Jewish Quarter and the Holocaust Museum in Paris, where they have files of all the Jews who were living in France during that time. This is huge, because for many years the French refuted that those files even existed.

The Sacre Couer basilica, in Montmartre (which was such an adorable place, it rounds out the top 3).

Paris rooftops and the Eiffel Tower. 


Once we were back at street level, we walked around behind it to see the spires and the flying buttresses, those pieces that fan out.  To me those were more impressive than the front and even more impressive from above.


And at sunset.

And the blue hour.


I know many of you shared with me that you went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe or the Eiffel Tower, but has anyone gone to the top of Notre Dame? It is definitely a do not miss.




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28 comments:

Audra Renewed Projects said...

Great shots! Love the ones with the gargoyles in them and the background behind. You have a great eye. Thanks for sharing!

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

I am so jealous! We have a "Paris Fund" but who knows when it will be enough for my husband and I to actually go! Your pictures are gorgeous and make me what to go even more. I make jewelry out of vintage religious medals, and my favorite medals are by far the ones from France.
Kathleen

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my, so gorgeous. Definitely on my bucket list. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

This was one thing I missed during my trip to Paris. I know my cousin could not have climbed the stairs and I wasn't even sure I could. Your photos are gorgeous and I'm so glad you shared them. I was thrilled to see Notre Dame from the Seine but that was as close as I got. So maybe 'next trip' to Paris!
hugs,
Linda

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Such gorgeous buildings, what history! Great shots ♥
*hugs*deb

CailinMarie said...

Paris! oh how fabulous! I love all the photos (especially they gargoyle) but I am so glad that you shared that France has memorials and museums regarding deportation and information about the Jews during WWII, especially that they once refuted but now acknowledge all those files.

Because of Jackie said...

Awe, these pictures are great! I never wen tot Notre Dame when I was in Paris and now wish I had;)

Chrissy @ Adventures in DIY said...

Gorgeous photos! Everytime you post pics, makes me want to get my booty over there!

Town and Country Gals said...

Wow! What a great trip! Your photos are amazing!
Thanks for visiting and the sweet comment about Kate's wedding!
Rebecca

Jenn said...

Now that's a city I'd like to see up close and personal... great photos!

Rattlebridge Farm said...

Stunning, gorgeous photographs!

Debbiedoos said...

Never been but on the bucket list. We are super excited this year because our sons Marching band theme this year is the Bells of Notre Dame. It is going to be such an awesome show! Your pics are fabulous.

Afton Warrick said...

Thanks for letting me live vicariously for a minute there. With two littles at home it's going to be a while before I leave the country.

Sarah said...

This is on my list for a trip in September. I've gone to the top of the Eiffel Tower and the Arch de Triomphe, but not Notre Dame. Your photos are amazing. I hope to capture some great shots too.

Curtains in My Tree said...

This would be a dream trip for anyone, however I am sure it's over my budget, I am going to New York City for the first time and have saved for this trip, It'a bucket list trip
I really enjoy all your Paris pictures since I won't be going

Megan Gordon said...

Lovely pics! I went there once, almost 15 years ago and I so want to go back!

As for gardening... You may be able to do lettuce in the fall. My dad does lettuce and spinach and it lasts almost all winter with his cold frames.

pam {simple details} said...

Beautiful photography! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip, I've been several years ago and would love to go back, there's no place like Paris! Thanks for sharing at Best of the Nest!

The Tablescaper said...

Gorgeous photos!

- Alma, The Tablescaper

Rachel said...

Wow! Everything is so pretty! Love the architecture of the buildings!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Your photos are stunning!

Noel Morata said...

All those views are gorgeous, what a beautiful day you were able to visit and nice sharp images.

Briona said...

Great pictures! I really love the gargoyle ones. :) I didn't get to go up the Notre Dame when I was in Paris, so I guess that's something to add to the list for next time!

Chatfield Court said...

Lovely pictures of Paris. Love the one of the rooftops and the Eiffel Tower. I have never been...sigh...but love to dream about it. Will get there some day. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.
Kristi

The Charm of Home said...

This is wonderful. Great shots.Thanks for sharing.
Sherry

Christina Paul said...

Beautiful shots!
we were there last fall and climbed those steps and it was so worth it- can't wait to check out your other Paris posts!

Isabelle Thornton said...

Thanks so much for linking! I shared on twitter and Google + directly and featuring you tomorrow! :)
XOXO
Isabelle

Julie Reinwald said...

Oh my goodness, what beautiful pictures! I am so envious of your beautiful vacation! I was in Paris many years ago and hope to return in the next few years :)

Jessica@CapeofDreams said...

This makes me want to go to Paris so badly! I saved it because I wanted to visit with a lover, but now that I have him, we haven't gone! We talked about going in June because my college roommate got married in France but the cost and the timing did not work out. someday! I'm glad you enjoyed your trip.