Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Paris Girls Trip: Flowers, Prisons, Palaces, Churches and “Gardens”

After the girls finally dragged me away from Notre Dame, we walked to the flower market (still on Ile de la Cite). The flower markets consisted of three rows of buildings: (see the rows in the middle of the picture?)


Here is the perspective from the ground level:

We walked through the building on the far right (if you refer to the map above) and snaked around to the second building to meet the ONLY rude person I met in Paris. Inside these buildings are many different stores. There are many different vendors sharing a space kind of like the French Market in New Orleans. As we approached a new little “flower shop”, I saw a group of flowers I wanted to get a photo in front of. When the isle was clear, I quickly sat down to pose for a photo. As I sat, I barely grazed a few flowers in a pot next to me. The owner of the store WENT NUTS. She started yelling at me in French and ran up and moved the pot (I kid you not…) about one inch away from me. She backed off still yelling and we snapped this photo:
The flowers in question were the yellow daises right next to my elbow. Seriously, I barely touched the flowers. I was raised to be respectful of plants (and other people’s possessions for that matter) and was very careful when I sat down not to hurt anything. I got up and left the ladies little shop as she continued to mutter in French.

To be fair, maybe I should have asked to take a photo in her shop, but to be honest I did not realize she was the store owner until she started yelling at me. Oh well… After we hastily left the yelling lady and I felt scolded like a little kid (for not actually hurting any flowers). I posed for this mug shot:

I was pretty bummed for a bit and started to blame myself, but I eventually got over it. We did get a good story of out it and this lady became the litmus test for rude Parisians. If someone was even slightly rude to me, I thought, “were they are rude as that flower lady?” The answer was always no.

We kept giggling as we left the flower shops and I told the girls I did not like that mean place. :)

We headed to the most beautiful church I have ever seen in my life, La Sainte Chapelle. We arrived the Conciergerie Complex. The complex housed Louis IX’s palace, his personal church and a prison. The history is pretty unreal as areas of the complex were used in the 6th century! Our first stop: Sainte Chapelle. I had no idea what was in store for me when we walked into the first floor of this building. It was pretty enough. IMG_0405P6092417

I purchased the audio tour (because I LOVE audio tours) and was behind the rest of the group. They had already gone up the stairs and were waiting in St. Chapelle. As they were waiting for me to come into the room, they were watching people as they walked in and saw their faces light up in awe of the church. Gay and Courtney had the idea for Courtney to wait for me to walk in and get a picture of my face as I saw this glorious room for the first time. It think she had to wait for a few minutes, but I finally showed up. I was vaguely aware that she was snapping photos of me as I laid my eyes on the beautiful church. It was the most amazing church I had ever seen. You can tell my by face:


File:Sainte Chapelle - Upper level 1.jpgP6092475
While listening to my audio tour I learned that the Crown of Thorns (THE CROWN OF THORNS) was housed in this church by King Louis IX. He actually built this church to keep this priceless religious relic. I about lost it. I was in the same room the Crown of Thorns were once in. It was almost too much for my little, Catholic brain to bear. There was a stained glass window right above where the Crown of Thorns were displayed. It showed Jesus being crowned. It tried to get a photo of it. See if you can pick it out:


As I was talking to Jennifer about the Crown of Thorns she informed me that the Crown is now kept at Notre Dame! My mind was blown again. I had been IN the building that currently houses the Crown of Thorns.

(I later googled the crown and learned all about its history through the years. Here is what it looks like today: They actually display the Crown of Thorns once a month in Notre Dame if you ever want to plan a trip around it. )

After I collected myself, again, we went to see the rest of the complex. It was quite remarkable. The medieval hall was reserved for the royal guard and was amazing even to today’s standards. IMG_0441
The hall had three fireplaces and I gathered the group together into one of them to have a little fun…
Clearly I missed the hand-to-the-forehead memo. :) We then took the tour of the prison. It was really neat and even saw where Marie Antoinette was housed before her execution. They even built her a little chapel. We had checked off some major Parisian sights and it was time to eat!

We gathered the group together and headed to Ile Saint Louis.

We stopped at a café Gay and QP had frequented before and had a marvelous lunch and headed to Berthillon for ice cream. IMG_0458P6092596

We window shopped on Ile Saint Louis, went to see the oldest tree in Paris, P6092629

passed back by my favorite place in Paris,P6092634
visited Shakespeare and Co (one of the only English book stores in Paris),


went to the Luxemburg Gardens(and sat/rested),
took modeling photos,

went to Pierre Herme (chocolates!) and and finally headed home.

Elisabeth’s feet were bothering her so I volunteered to stay at the apartment with her while the rest of the group went to Nathalie’s house for dinner and visiting. Elisabeth and I went to get dessert (Crepe Sucre of course) and hung out for a bit. We parted ways and I headed to my room to shower and go to bed early.

It had been such an amazing day. I was (and still am) pretty impressed by how much we saw. I had the best tour guides in the world.

So, now the moment you are all waiting for:
THE FITBIT UPDATE: 25,187 steps, 51 flights of stairs and 10.34 miles walked. (Note: Most of the flights climbed were at Notre Dame.)
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Courtney also blogged about our adventure. While I had three blog posts about our first two days, she had one. This proves she is much more concise :). Take a peek at Courtney’s perspective up to this point.

What would we do the next day in Paris? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

Love and Hugs, Lizzie

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