Saturday, 30 June 2007

Notre Dame, Part 1

Today I visited Notre Dame, I have been here last time I was in Paris, but I have never gone to the top mainly because last time the queue to go to the top stretched all the way round the cathedral, and it's a massive cathedral! This time I got there pretty early and so the queue was only about 70m so I was able to get inside after about 40 minutes. There are 387 steps to the top and they are all pretty narrow and they have been worn down by all the people who have walked up there. The views from the top were pretty amazing and it has certainly inspired me to read 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' which I actually bought while I was there. Once I got back down to ground level the queue to go into the cathedral itself stretched all the way back through the square, so I left that for another day.

I'm certainly looking forward to moving into the Cite Universitare though. At the moment I am a bit over 30 minutes from the centre of Paris, by express train. My stop is the 3rd last stop on the line and is in Zone 5, which is the furthest out zone, this means that it costs me 4 euros one way into Paris. By contrast the Cite Universitare is in Zone 1, which means it costs 1.45 euros to get around. The great thing about the French government is that they will pay half of my transport costs to get to work, so even when I'm living in Zone 1 it won't be too expensive to commute to work.

The flying buttresses of Notre Dame
Notre Dame from the side
The approach to Notre Dame
The gargoyles up close, they each seemed to have their own personality
More gargoyles, each one was different too
The square in front of Notre Dame, by the time I got to the bottom that line stretched almost to the end of the square

View of Paris from the top

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