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Climbing to the Top of Notre Dame Cathedral
Posted By adventureswithben On August 11, 2009 @ 11:21 am In Europe,Flickr,France,Landmarks,Paris,Photography | Comments Disabled
A few years back I broke one of my cardinal rules of traveling. Since most trips are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, I believe that it is worth saving the few extra dollars ahead of time to indulge while you are on your vacation. Skip dining out Friday night, cook something instead and put that $40 into your vacation savings account (you do have a vacation savings account, right?)
Leaving a country saying, “I wish I had done…” is not a fond memory to have. Don’t be cheap. Such was the case on a trip in 2005 to Notre Dame Cathedral. Brian wanted to climb up to the top, but I suggested we save our cash to keep expenses down. He was slightly disappointed, but we moved on. Boy was that a mistake. Four years later we were still talking about how we wished we would have spent the measly 10 bucks and climbed to the top.
Last year we returned to Paris after a business trip I took out there. We had a few days to explore the city and correct the mistakes we made in the past. Believe it or not, the first thing we did to ensure we did not miss it, was climb to the top of Notre Dame.
Notre Dame is ancient. There is a somewhat surreal feeling climbing the spiral staircase to the top of the bell towers. The stone steps are worn in the middle from thousands upon thousands of feet walking on them for centuries of history. I can only imagine the stories this church could tell if it could talk. It must have been witness to so many historically significant events from Medieval Europe.
The protectors of the church are the stone gargoyles that decorate nearly every opportune space along the church walls. For the photographer in me, this was magic. Just look at this pensive creature…
My favorite is this one. If you look closely, you can see the Eiffel Tower in the background.
The trip to the top of Notre Dame Cathedral was only a few dollars and worth the trip. The best times to go are in the early morning or late evening. The lines are not as long and the lighting is more conducive to taking great shots. More photos can be found at my Flickr site .
Visiting Europe is like taking a trip through time. We all know and say that the United States is a young country. But to truly understand how young we are, Paris will put it all in perspective for you.
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