Thursday, November 27, 2014

European Vacation--Day 1 Paris

We hit the ground running.  Wingnut is a firm believer one can conquer jet lag if one just stays awake and keeps going.  To give him credit, he is right.  What has affectionately been dubbed "The Mayerle Death March" really works.

Sacre Coeur was an impressive sight emerging from the crowded streets of Montmartre.  The rock stair up to the church takes you to a height with a wonderful view of the city below.  It was a gray, overcast, and cool afternoon.

As we entered the church we were greeted by the sweet sounds of Carmelite nuns singing the opening hymn for daily mass.  We decided to stay for a mass that was celebrated beautifully in French.

The church, itself, is absolutely beautiful--combining Romanesque and Byzantine styles.  Photos are not allowed inside, and unfortunately, not many tourists cared for the rules and were being constantly reprimanded by the ushers and docents.  The church's primary interior feature is a beautiful mosaic of the Sacred Heart, surrounded by various saints and popes who had historically promoted the devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Notre Dame is another beautiful church, and probably more famous than Sacre Couer as it has featured prominently in French history and literature.  The rosette stained glass windows and a beautiful altar piece in the style of the Pieta are of particular beauty and notice.

The Chapel of the Miraculous Medal is down a quiet alley, known as Rue de Bac and was fairly free of tourists as it is more a place of pilgrimage for Catholics.  The chapel is small, but lovely and contains the remains of St. Louise de Marilac and St. Catherine Laboure, as well as a relic of St. Vincent de Paul.  We stayed for the rosary and a sweet nun directed us to a closed off, sound proof part of the balcony.

Our final stop for our first day was the Eiffel Tower, with which the boys were most impressed.  Due to extremely long lines, we saved going to the top for another day.

The busy streets of Montmartre

Sacre Coeur 

Sacre Coeur in black and white

Notre Dame

Notre Dame in black and white

Notre Dame detail

Notre Dame detail

Quiet Rue de Bac 

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

The boys beneath the tower

Evidence of my long awaited trip to Paris

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Natalie said...

Love your pictures and I can't believe you got a picture of an Umpa-Lupa! They do exist!

Maurisa said...

Haha! Natalie, I had forgotten about the Oompa Loompas! There were other characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wandering around,too. I have no idea why.