When I spent a semester in Paris during college, one of my favorite touristy activities was visiting Montmartre and climbing Sacre-Coeur. So you better believe I dragged Tod there on our honeymoon. To be fair, I didn't really drag him; he's game for these sorts of things.
Before you climb the steps of Sacre-Coeur, you climb a mountain. (Hence the name of the area, Montmartre.)
To climb that mountain, you first climb a bazillion steps within the metro (graffiti much?)--steps that wrap around the elevator shaft, so yes, there is an easier way. But you know what they say about taking the easy way out. It's not good, right?
When you return to the surface of the Earth, you find yourself face-to-face with--you guessed it--more steps.
To break up our stairway-to-heaven climb, we wandered through a gorgeous church--Eglise Saint Jean de Montmartre.
The purple misty-looking light in the above photo? I have no clue what that is. A spirit or an angel? Perhaps. Really, who are we to say?
I loved, loved, loved the stained glass. But that's no surprise. Because I love, love, love stained glass.
And the floors. I loved, loved, loved them too. They made regular hardwood floors seem so, well, regular.
If you've wandered around Europe, then you've probably wandered around a few churches and cathedrals. The doors are usually open, candles are usually glowing, and there's just something so soothing about walking through these places--these beautiful, ancient places where so many people have lifted up their thoughts and prayers to something larger than themselves. These places breathe hope. And as a token of our appreciation for these places, we made a point to leave coins in each one we visited; this offering box mentioned something about the organ so we made a donation in honor of the choir at First Presbyterian Church in Sumter, where Tod's parents raise their voices every Sunday.
When we finally made our way to the foot of Sacre-Coeur, it was picture time. (Umm, as if I don't take pictures all the time.) A nice lady recognized that we might like to have our picture taken together--which isn't always easy without help, despite my long arms--and she offered to do so without our even having to ask. Such a simple thing for her to have done, but quite thoughtful nonetheless, and I remember her every time I see this picture.
It was windy.
But I was excited to be there. Can you tell?
This concludes Part 1. Check back later for Part 2.