A summer’s day walk in the heart of the city of love ~ Paris.
Presenting a page from my memory book of last year, 2017.
It was the first Sunday of August and like all first Sundays of every month, the famous museums in Paris have a free entry for all. So I decided to head to Musee D’Orsay to start the day out all by myself. All photos here are shot by me and hence I am not in any. After my morning cup of tea and croissants, I took the public transport and arrived at the entrance of the museum only to find long winding queues of people and many others sitting on the pavement surrounding the museum, waiting their turn. I guess I shouldn’t have let it be a lazy Sunday morning start (lesson learnt – there will be tourists everywhere, anywhere in Paris, be prepared).
Anyways, I didn’t want to waste much time standing in line so I decided to skip the museum visit and go see another gem. Below is the view of the museum building from across the Tuileries garden.I put on my gps and set it to walk from the musée to Sainte Chapelle. It’s a long walk and I’m sharing the screenshot, to put into perspective the location of what’s where.One of my most favourite free things to do in Paris, is to walk along the Seine, sightseeing the city on the go. These are some of the typical sidewalk views on the route I took.
Here’s one of the Love Lock bridges – Pont des Arts. Lovers lock a padlock here and throw the key into the river as a symbol of commitment to each other. I recommend getting unique souvenirs of Paris right from one of these stalls, anytime you’re in this city.
So on I marched, to find my way for the first time to the old royal chapel. It felt as though I was on a treasure hunt in the city. Sainte Chapelle is located in the Palais de la Cité at the heart of Paris. It was a pleasant feeling, a relief in fact to see a much much much shorter queue as I approached the chapel. The entry fee here was $10 and can be purchased at the entrance or on their website. It’s entry is free only on the first Sundays of the months from November to March.
Sainte Chapelle dates back to the 13th century. It then served as the parish church for the Parisian royal residents, hence the Holy Chapel is known as the Royal Chapel. It also housed the relics of the crown of thorns that’s now at the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The restoration work done in the 19th century in impressive. Here’s a visual delight of this splendid chapel, as seen through my lens.This spectacular view above greets you, as you set foot into the chapel, before proceeding upstairs, round a spiral stone staircase. There is a gift shop on the ground floor so you can purchase a souvenir here if interested. There are audio guides and concierge services available at a little extra cost and plain old laminated sheets of paper with information about the chapel incase you wish to know the chapel’s history in depth.
The chapel is a prime example of Gothic architecture. The beauty and antiquity of this place really speaks out from each pillar and glass window.These 13th century stained glass windows are 15 in number and 15 metres in height. Each of them tell a bible story from the old testament through the new.Below is the rose window of the chapel.After spending my time in admiration here and clicking snapshots of this gorgeous place, I still had the rest of the day as it was early noon. Next I headed to grab a quick bite at the nearest Bistro and went on to enjoy my walk along the Seine river towards Notre Dame cathedral. I had to stop by here since it was at such close quarters.
This view I’m sharing with you was so worth the short visit here. These pictures always make me feel nostalgic and serve as a reminder to stop and smell the roses, no matter the rush. Below is a shot of a boat full of people enjoying the lovely sun and sights on a Seine river cruise, another perfect way to enjoy Paris.
As I crossed the street to walk into the most famous book store in town, I couldn’t help but feel overcome with gratitude of how casually I was going about my day in comparison to doing things as a tourist in other cities. This day was a learning in so many ways.Here’s Shakespeare & Company, there is a special aura about this place and you have to experience it for yourself to know what I am talking about. I highly recommend this place for all book lovers.
Yes, I did buy a Hemingway book here 🙂 and got it stamped at the store.
Taking pictures inside is prohibited and I respect that, so here are some outdoor views.Could there be a more perfect scene to sum up my day and this post ; the snapshot below says it all.