Notre Dame: Mass & the Tour de France

Trip Start Jul 20, 2009
Trip End Jul 28, 2009

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, July 26, 2009

Despite the incredible amount of sleep I got yesterday, we still slept in until 9:45 am. Mega sleep-fest! We had breakfast (more pain au chocolat), got ready and took the Metro to Notre Dame. We got there at a great time with barely even a line to get in.

We were not going in to see the cathedral (we've done that before), we were going there to attend Mass. You say, "But Kit, you aren't Catholic." I respond to you, "I know."

We made our way towards the front. The Girl wanted to grab seats fairly far back, but I kept going. She said, "We'll never get seats up there." I kept going, and going, and going. All the way to the front row. There was an older woman sitting next to two open seats. "Madame?", I asked as I pointed to the seats. She nodded her head. We sat. Front row. Voila!

We had a few minutes before the Mass was to start, so we just looked around the cathedral. It's so impressive. The Girl commented how she loves the blue rose windows. They are very striking. The choir started to sing, and it was so beautiful.

The Mass started. The priest made a comment that we were having mass this day as it has been done for 800 years. Wow, there's some perspective for ya. This was the International Mass, so parts were in French, some in English, and some in Spanish. The priest was actually American.

There was a lot of up and downing, some lovely songs and some scripture. Today was Feast of the Grandparents Day or something (Grandparents of Jesus) so the message was about the importance of grandparents. It was very nice. Towards the end was the Eucharist which the Girl and I took part in, something I haven't done since I was much younger at my parents church. When the service was over we walked around the cathedral and then we lit a candle.

From there we walked into the 5th arrondissement (Latin Quarter) since it is a favorite area of ours to have lunch. We decided on a place called Le Tango du Chat (or something like that). We had a very nice, very long lunch. The Girl had smoked salmon, and we shared mussels in cream sauce (the best mussels I've ever had!). Then I had duck fondue, which oddly had no cheese involved, lol. It reminded me of shabu shabu/sukiyaki...where you cook the meat in hot oil/water then dip it in a sauce. That's basically what I did. I got raw duck meat that I cooked in the hot whatever, then dipped it. It was quite good. I also drank a 1/2 bottle of a really nice rose from the cotes de provence.

We started our way back home, but just as we got near Notre Dame, the street was blocked off. I asked what was going on, and yes it was the Tour de France. We got there a little before 4 pm, but the cyclists didn't show up until about 4:30--a half-hour late. The nice thing though is that for the second time today, we were in the front right on the rail. I got a couple of good shots, but there's no telling who is in it; they went by so fast.

We got back on the Metro and came home to relax a little before going out again a little later.
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Comments on

It was last year that you were in France. Your pictures and impressions of Notre-Dame de Paris could be enriched by some musical links to YouTube:

/* Mass opening chant
(in the beginning you will
hear the bells) */

/* 3 Parts
christmas vespers */

/* Olivier Latry at the main organ
Improvisations */

To be listened with good HiFi head phones or very good stereo speakers.
Enjoy it! Kind regards Markus Loew.

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