on October 26, 2010
The Notre Dame cathedral is stunning and is in the popular Place de Notre dame. The area is easily reached by the great Paris metro, Notre dame stop. The queue to the cathedral is large but dont let this put you off, its free to get in so the line moves soo quickly you are in within 2mins or so.When inside i was in awe of this amazing place. We easily spent 30mins or so just wandering about the cathedral taking in all the history and beautiful sights.A great tip in Paris is that you should try to get tickets to the venues there ahead of time to avoid the queues lines that form. Daytime strolls behind the cathedral in the quieting atmosphere of the great garden and sitting area nested along the Seine river bank makes this area so picturesque and beautiful I visited in June which is an excellent time to visit and according to the guides, so are the autumn months. Try your digital camera images of Notre Dame at night and use the sensational lighting available. Dusk is also great and shots taken from across the river are impressive. You cannot take good photos from the river cruises but you will see a different image of grand old Notre Dame and remember it! Inside you will marvel at the flowing lines of the architecture. Before you leave the island, make sure to visit St. Chappelle church where the windowglass coloring will leave an indelible impression upon your psyche.The area hosts many concerts in the summer months and is very historic. The church amazingly was not destroyed in the second world war. Another thing i like is the area. It is so diverse and cosmopolitan, with several nationalities, gay friendly and a bohemian atmosphere. Unlike other attractions in Paris, the area is very affordable to eat and drink in. After the tower climb, make sure you go to the park on the right side of the cathedral to see the famous flying buttresses. Be alert to the many public nusiences outside the cathedral begging for money and trying to scam people, just say "non" to the numerous gypsies that ask you if you speak English. They will leave if you say no but why the French government tolerates this nonsense right outside a national treasure is beyond me.For an added bonus visit the tower for the most spectacular views, but beware of the long queues. There is also a fee for this, very few sights in Paris are free, its a tourist city. I had a very spiritual experience visiting the tower whilst the bells were ringing, it made me wonder about what it was like years ago.Well recommend a visit.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009