|beautiful food, beautiful service, beautiful setting|
This morning the plan was to get up a little earlier than we actually did, but we were so tired. We planned to go to the 10am Gregorian mass at Notre Dame, and we rolled out, stopped for a coffee, and then headed over. The mass was very mysterious, on a number of levels: (a) we don't speak Latin, (b) we aren't Catholic, (c) I understand a bit of French and Marc understands none, and then (d) the mystery of the Christian religion. I enjoyed it a lot, and spent a great deal of time looking up at the peaks of the ribbed vaults, imagining the hard lives of the men who laid all the bricks and stones. Hard lives, hard work, but building a cathedral for God and so what must that have been like? I enjoyed it very much, the whole thing. It brought together a lot of streams for me: my lifelong connection to Hugo's novel Notre Dame de Paris, the year I studied the architecture and symbols of Gothic cathedrals in college, my childhood connection to Christianity, my appreciation for mystery and meaning. Marc was so good to go with me, though it wasn't really his thing so much.
|leaving the mass|
But it is a stunning cathedral, no matter how many times you see it.
|approaching from the right bank -- you can see the spire and the towers on the right, in the distance|
|Magnificent --and those flying buttresses! I wish I could've been at the table when they were first proposed. "OK guys, this structure isn't going to work." "I know! How about we build things on the outside to hold it up!"|
|So much to see in the grand facade, like this guy holding his head. In his lands. Literally.|
|Quasimodo, my Other for so many years. Can you imagine creating a story and character that lives in a little girl's 9-year-old heart in Texas, hundreds of years after you wrote it?|
|I just love the architecture in Paris. You know you are in Paris, for sure.|
|OH YES, I could live in one of those apartments. The one on the top please.|
|Or one of those. I'm not particular.|
|I just loved that -- on the side of a building.|
|That might've been us sitting there! It isn't, obviously, but it could've been. :)|
Our flight to Athens was easy -- Air France is a wonderful airline, beautiful planes, lovely service and halfway decent food. We flew over the Alps and Venice and down the coast of Italy, but only the Alps were visible because there were clouds the rest of the way.
|WOW. Nothing else to say but WOW.|
|Hotel Euripides -- looking off our balcony|
|lots of empty buildings and EVERYTHING is graffitied.|
What a beautiful trip. What a beautiful day. What a wonderful experience, and life. I am so lucky and grateful.