Notre Dame & Left Bank

September 28, 2006


Another sunny, crisp,clear day greeted us and we managed to get out at a decent time for us to take it in fully. I think we broke our record as we were on the bus before eleven. My plans are too ambitious with a child so every day we get less done than what is on our list to see,but we do manage to have fun and there is always a perfection to it all. Half the fun is in the exploring and just being together.

We grab the metro then headed to the left bank beginning with the Notre Dame cathedral which is the center of France and a wonderful gothic church that took 200 years to build. The left bank is the older side of Paris where it began so one can see more of the middle ages there and it is known for its bohemian ways. After we explored the inside of the church together, Mozart and DaVinci made their way to the top for the views and seeing the famous bell tower that Victor Hugo’s Quasimodo made famous. I have not been able to find the movie version yet of that which I want, but it will definitely make a bigger impact now. I hope we can find it to rent in Spain, or maybe we will find it here. We are looking forward to watching Moulin Rouge as soon as we get another movie night which takes place on the left bank. We are trying to get to bed earlier to get up earlier,so skipping the movies lately.

Mozart loved the climb up ,the bell,the views,the gargoyles, feeding the pigeons below and everything about Notre Dame. I enjoyed people watching while they went up and a really good  singer who looked like Seal entertained us all. We really liked the park behind Notre Dame and had a marvelous picnic lunch enjoying the views there allowing Mozart to run around and feed the birds part of her chicken baguette sandwich. I told her she could keep a bird if she caught one, so that kept her entertained for a while as she loved the idea of another pet.

Then we made our way to Ile St. Louis to an outdoor cafe called Cafe Flore-en-I’Ile which was recommended as the perfect place to sample French style hot chocolate and indeed it was. Mozart and I poured our tiny silver pitchers of perfect melted thick chocolate into our cups as well as frothy creamy warm milk from a larger pitcher to just the right consistency to please each of us. Mmmmm, a delectable cup of hot chocolate like no other. Meanwhile DaVinci appreciated his tiny cup of rich coffee and chocolate treats that came with it and we all were entertained by some sublime flute playing wafting towards us from the nearby bridge.

We sauntered around the left bank exploring and  just taking it all in. We headed towards Shakespeare and Company which was mentioned in the book about Linnea. What a wonderfully winsome place it was and we are sooo glad that we found it. We made our way up the tiniest red stairs to the children’s book section on the second floor and an enchanting room covered in books with an open window view of Notre Dame and the left bank.

It was the kind of place one could easily stay for hours and we did stay much longer than we thought we would so never made it to other places on our list. It is just sooooo like us to get lost in a book store and this was the fantasy book store of all time. We ended up buying a load of books for Mozart (she goes
thru them so fast) and she enjoyed the cat too and talked away to the lovely English girl who was at the checkout who gave us a deal on the books as they were more than what we wanted to pay. They were books from the UK and Mozart is already asking for the others in a series, so I will have to check that out when we get to Spain.

We ended up having a delectable dinner at a cafe nearby and just enjoyed walking around the Rive Gauche. I later read that in the 20’s Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Joyce went to the Shakespeare and Company bookstore to borrow books and get their English fix.

The alter and stained glass shots are from Sainte-Chapelle as we climbed the spiral staircase to the “Haute Chapelle”. On the way up the narrow staircase,Mozart said “I can’t believe I am climbing another tower!” rather loudly as kids her age can do. A lady ahead of laughed and quipped “and just imagine if you were my age, thinking the same thing.”
















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