ND1: I am so excited to be in Paris... and to take you with me. Please make comments, ask questions (that I will try to answer) and vote for the photos you like the best. Gretchen
ND2: Here is Notre Dame Cathedral after a rain. I could see this beautiful centerpiece of Paris across the Seine River from my hotel window.
ND3: On three sides of Notre Dame manicured parks invite visitors to stroll the exterior and bring their children ....
ND4: .... and grandchildren for play time.
ND5: The Spring gardens in the back of the cathedral are magnificent and planted in different floral color schemes each year.
ND6: Tourists wait in line. Everyday hundreds of people from all over the world visit the interior of Notre Dame.
ND7: As you approach the doorway, Matthew, Mark , Luke, and John flank the PORTAL or entrance.
ND8: Every piece of this structure has been carved out of stone
ND9: And the intricate details are everywhere you look.
ND10: The structure is covered in carvings, telling stories from the Bible....remember people back in the Middle Ages, when the cathedral was built, couldn't read or write so this was the way they learned about God and religious teaching.
ND11: Facing South along the Seine River is the famous "rose window" I couldn't wait to see its brilliance from inside.
ND12: And I felt AWE seeing the color, pattern and individual themes within the window. I thought of the thousands of nameless craftsmen who created it long ago for the greater glory of God. Their names appear nowhere.
ND13: Every day at 1:00 people are allowed to climb to the top via the North tower....that is the one on the left...so I waited in line.
ND14: And I started to climb.....all 387 steps. It was a real workout.
ND15: Arriving at the TOP....I was surprised to find myself in a cage, but when I thought about it I knew it was there to keep me safe.
ND16: And all visitors are in the cage....but the view is out of this world!!!!
ND17: The roof is adorned with copper sculptures of saints and apostles.
ND18: You can see 360 degrees in all directions across the city. The stone gargoyles were created as decoration and drainage spouts
ND19: In the distance is the Eiffel Tower....and right below the gargoyle's chin is my hotel.
ND20: There is the Seine River running below us. In the foreground see the gargoyle drainage spout.
ND21: As I was standing at the top, gazing out across the city, the sun came out from a passing rain shower and a beautiful beam of light illuminated Montmartre, another famous cathedral in Paris.
ND22: Going down via the South Tower I passed the 13 ton Emmanuel Bell....and I couldn't help thinking of Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame the famous bell ringer
ND23: The stained glass inside the cathedral takes my breath away with its beauty. All the small areas telling holy stories.
ND24: View at dusk of the back of Notre Dame looking along the SeineRiver. When the sun goes down the magic starts to happen around Paris!! The lights come on, the sky glows and reflections dance on the river.
ND25: Here along the back side and Northern edge of the cathedral runs a boulevard...this photo captures a moonlit evening with Parisians out and about... going home from work or out to dinner.
ND26: Notre Dame (Our Lady) is truly the heart and soul of Paris, in my opinion. A beacon of peace for all who visit.
Stay Tuned.....see the following EXTRAS!
NDex1: Can you guess what these lit boats are doing here on the river parked across from the cathedral?? Answer: They are fancy restaurants for elegant and romantic dining.
NDex2: Here is one of my favorite views...looking up at the drain-spout gargoyle as they peer down from the side of Notre Dame.
NDex3: One of the pleasures of going to the parks around the cathedral, is feeding the birds that gather.
NDex4: This lady seemed to have her special and favored bird eating from her hand....because she is swishing the other birds away.
NDex5: This man feeding the sparrows and posing with this cute little girl, has a little business where he sells bags of bird food to tourists for half a Euro (55 cents). Do you remember what the French money was called before it became the Euro?
NDex6: I think Margaret in Wilton wanted to know about lilacs....yes, numerous bushes surround Notre Dame and they smell grand!
NDex7: This is a sightseeing boat on the Seine River...called the "Bateau Moche". I am looking forward to taking you on a ride!!