When I said I slept until morning what I actually mean is that I was awake at 4am due to the jet lag. Breakfast didn't start until 6 so I spent most of that time planning my day and making sure I knew how to say "I'm not English" in French.
Breakfast consisted of a croisant and a bread roll... cereal was optional. It sounds great but after three days the sight of carbohydrates in the morning made my tummy hurt. I made my way via the Metro to Notre Dame. It was a good thing I was jet lagged and woke up early because when I got there there were very few people.
Notre Dame from the front
The church itself is quite lovely but it holds none of the reverence that you would have expected. It was noisy and there were flashes going off everywhere (that's photography flashes you sicko). Walking through I discovered things like fire blankets stuck to century old gates and cardboard boxes stacked up behind tombs! At this point I wasn't overly impressed with the place.
Ok so this is kinda impressive..
It wasn't until I took the tower walk that I actually started to understand why this place is so wonderful. Although having said that I am totally spiral staired out!!! The walk up the tower is fairly unexceptional (except for the pidgeon skewers - see below) but once you get up the top you can't help but give snaps to the builders.
The gargoyles are awesome. None of them are the same and there's even an elephant. My favourite is this guy, who's send to be eternally contemplating the changing city scape below... I think he just looks goofy!
The exact moment I fell in love with Notre Dame was when the bells started ringing. From the bottom of the church they sound quite dull, not very awe inspiring at all but when you're up there its incredible. The base runs straight through you and doesn't stop the whole time they're ringing. On top of this is a dischord of notes that are simply terrifying. It made me think of good horror movies but more.. biblical! If I believed in a god, I would cerrtainly have been experiencing the fear of him. It was incredible, its one of most favourite memories from Paris.
If anyone is interesting in seeing more of Notre Dame I went a bit camera happy so there's plenty to see....
After hobbling the 200 or so spiral steps down to the bottom of the tower (and then holding my head till the world stopped spinning) I went in search of the Arc de Triomph. Instead I found concorde and the champ elysse (no one is allowed to check my spelling on any of these). Concorde is this giant Egyptian pillar standing in the middle of a giant round a bout. From the middle you can see almost every building of significance in Paris. Its quite incredible.
Ok, more later.....