Recently, I went on a day trip to Chartres, a small city about an hour by train from Paris, with a friend. It contrasts so much with Paris, and I loved the old fashioned feel of the town. For a small-city-loving, beach-town girl, it was especially relaxing to go somewhere not full of people. I found myself grinning and prancing about in the cobblestone streets.
It was a “beautiful” day. I say this with caution because the weather was ridiculous. It would be sunny and warm(ish) for half an hour, and then it would pour. This cycle repeated all.day.long.
Chartres is home to the famous Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres. The architecture of the church is amazing, with some of the most intricate stained glass I have ever seen. For reasons completely unrelated to religion, I love looking at churches whenever in a new place. It’s partially because they are so beautiful, but also because they are just so representative of wherever they are located.
We accidentally stumbled upon a “manifestation contre le mariage gay” (a protest against making gay marriage legal in France). Not at all my kind of party, but it was interesting to see because this is such a huge issue in France. Towns like this tend to be more conservative and traditional.
Here are a few more photos from our travels:
Towards the end of our visit, we decided to climb the steeple of the cathedral. It took us a solid twenty minutes of climbing in the swaying tower before we emerged into the frigid, windy observation deck, but it was worth it. The view was amazing!
Overall, it was a great experience to go somewhere outside of the city; imagine leaving NYC to go to a small town in New York. The cobblestone, winding streets and delicious food really made the day for me. I realized that as much as I want to travel around Europe, there is so much merit in getting to know the country you live in better.
Check it out here: http://www.chartres.fr/
Word of the Post:
vitrail: stained glass