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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Yep - its STILL raining!

Its amazing how the rain makes you feel like ...... not doing much. It might also have something to do with the fact that we have been on Fast-Forward for the last week and a bit. We didn't pack for cold, wet, rainy weather. And, while the area that we are staying is good for food, its not so good for clothes. So, we had to make do with what we have (which isn't much).

Have you tried this? This works on mobile devices (not on desktop as far as I have been able to see).

  • Open Internet Browser
  • Type Paris Vacations into Google (or any city)
  • Scroll down until you can see this

  • Click on Travel Guide. You should see this;

Scroll down to Suggested Itineraries

How cool is this feature of Google Search? Here is a video about it.....

Anyway, Im telling you all of this because we hadn't really planned anything for this day. It was supposed to be a 'rest day' but we were getting a bit stir-crazy inside the apartment. The heavy rain had stopped so it was down to a light shower. We grabbed our umbrellas and walked.....

I looked on the 'Suggested Itineraries' and looked what of note was close to where we were. We definitely wanted to walk as our step count was down for the day. So, this is what was within walking distance....

But, first ..... we were STARVING!

I had an omelette for lunch (surprisingly, I didn't photograph it). It had the first cheese in France that I didn't love.

Everywhere you turn in this city is architectural beauty.

Wait - BEAUTY? What is that big pipe sticking out of the ground? And that scaffolding? No, its not scaffolding - its the building I referred to in a previous post (Pompidou Centre) in context.

Just down the road from this - we stumbled upon the Notre Dame. I say stumbled upon because one cannot simply 'stumble upon' this ENORMOUS church. You can see it from everywhere.

The rain continued so on to the next item on the list - the Conciergerie. Funny story - whenever we mentioned to Parisians that we visited here (or wanted to visit here), they didn't really know what we were talking about. We had to say 'Where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned' and sometimes they knew where. So, the Conciergerie - what is it? This information was taken from their website;


A splendid Gothic palace. The Salle des Gardes (Guards Room) and the immense Salle des Gens d'armes (Hall of the soldiers), built under King Philip the Fair, still remain from the days of the medieval palace, as do the kitchens built under King John the Good.

From a Royal residence to a Palace of Justice. The Kings of France abandoned the palace at the end of the 14th century to settle in the Louvre and in Vincennes. It then took on a judicial role, and part of the palace was converted into prison cells.

Revolutionary prison. The Conciergerie became one of the principal places of detention during the French Revolution, with the installation of the Revolutionary Court. Its most famous prisoner was Marie-Antoinette. During the Restoration, a commemorative chapel was erected on the site of her cell.

Continue your visit to the Sainte-Chapelle and be dazzled by the 1,113 stained glass windows in this radiant jewel of Gothic architecture.

Ill be honest - I knew nothing about French history. I still know very little, but after this trip, I at least know SOMETHING about the Revolution. But, please don't test me about it until I read 'French History for Dummies.'

The Conciergerie prison, also known as the "antechamber to the guillotine", became the central penitentiary of a network of prisons throughout Paris, and was the final stop of over 2,700 people, who were summarily executed by guillotine.

So, the prison was interesting. But depressing. But, the Sainte-Chappelle was completely unexpected. As a building, its really weirdly sited. Its basically connected to the jail/former royal palace.

From the outside, it looks like any other Gothic Building desperately in need of a clean.

Inside, it was much the same - very dark, dusty, depressing. Then we noticed some people walking through a tiny little doorway. We followed and this is what we saw;

Pictures simply cannot describe what we saw. The light streaming into the room was amazing. Here is a detail picture of the ENORMOUS stained glass windows.

This building was completed in 1258. Living in Australia - that date is difficult to comprehend. I just think about how the building stands - let alone the glass. Its so tall and there doesn't seem to be any major lateral bracing.

Then the rain came again. We had had enough by this stage. 

Thanks for reading.


  1. That's incredible BB. You're so right about it being difficult to comprehend, especially in Australia. 'Major lateral bracing'...hahaha That's hilarious! Enjoy all your blogs Bruno.

  2. Wow those lead light windows are spectacular! Jaw drop moment. I hope it clears up for soon, enough is enough! �� Rachel Slater

  3. We are following your journey Bruno and Kylie. Its amazing. Though looking forward to having u both back. - Vasudha ☺

  4. Spectacular interior Bruno. The lateral bracing is in the exterior buttresses. Imagine building somthing that lasts so long!!!

    1. Yes you are right. They just seemed so small - I imagined there would be these massive flying buttresses outside after we saw the interior (like on Notre dame). But, not. Just 'attached columns.'

  5. Thanks for the Google tip!!


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