Paris

Notre Dame, Paris 
Just to be clear, while there are many Notre Dames all over France, there is really only one Notre Dame and she sits on L’Ile de France in the Seine. 

Notre Dame is one my favorite cathedrals in the world. The other is the Basilica San Marco for completely different reasons. 

I love the lines of Notre Dame, the clean rise of the walls up and up. The sunlight shining through stained glass windows several times older than the U.S. 

I love the quiet murmur of the place. The smell of centuries of incense. When I stand in Notre Dame, I feel as if I could touch heaven because people built this place. 

Just visiting it would have been enough, but we were lucky. There was a religious music concert that evening. So, we returned and took our seats. They chanted Gregorian and sang requiems and masses. The people sang and the great organ behind us answered them. It was like a conversation. A conversation that filled the cathedral with music. A conversation which vibrated your bones with sound. 

Karen almost fainted from the sensory input. Mom was somewhat more stoic, but moved. I spent almost the entire time looking up at the reaching walls. I couldn't believe that I was there and yet stone walls are as real as it gets. 

It was a sublime moment. See Font de Gaume for a list of my sublime moment credentials if you think that I exaggerate. 

And on the last day, we sat by the Seine and had a picnic.
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