Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Saint Chapelle and the Latin Quarter

Phew, what a busy day this was. We're going to have to calm down otherwise it isn't going to feel like we have had a holiday by the time we get back.

First up was Saint Chapelle which is quite near Notre Dame and the queues are not quite as long, hard to believe given the size of the queues at Saint Chapelle but true none-the-less. While the Mack's waited patiently, I walked Caron and Kim over to Notre Dame but the queues were a total put off so I left them to wander around Isle de la Cite and we would meet up later at a cafe.

Saint Chapelle was quite an eye opener both in terms of the beauty of the stained glass windows and the architecture but also in terms of how cold it was inside - it was absolutely freezing. I have been in many churches and chapels across europe and this has got to be the best one I have seen so far.

Each window has a separate story which it tells which I couldn't really follow but from far it looks quite uniform and ordered but as one gets closer one realises that there are many variations within the overall theme and I think that it is this that captivates people.

We met up with Kim, Caron and Sage in the cafe where they had already ordered and almost finished eating lunch. Caron's bill for Onion soup, coffee and odds and sods came to 30 euro which was pretty steep. We abandoned the cafe before were were forced to pay by dish washing and made our way up to the Latin Quarter stopping at an amazing cheese shop on the way. For some inexplicable reason, Caron will stand still for photographs in cheese shops.

The famdamily with Notre Dame in the background.

The Van der Merwes met us in the Latin quarter and we meandered through it without any real direction or purpose, stopping for lunch at another cafe. I had the onion soup which was exceptional so this meal is going to go down as one of my most expensive and most memorable ever! - in total 60 euro for two onion soups, some crepe's and beers and coffees. It's outrageous but damn it was good, I thought I was the only one finding the prices a bit steep but afterwards it came out that both Carl and Hennie thought likewise - as Hennie said, "That's a whole weeks worth of groceries in one lunch!"

Saw this stilt monster wandering around begging so, after a photo, I kind of had to make a donation.

The Ski boot shop which I visited on the first day is also in the Latin Quarter to next stop, after saying farewell to the Van's, was some serious shopping. Kirsten and I both tried on several boots while the children whined about how long it was taking which we just ignored. Kirsten found her boots quite quickly while I vacillated between two, one was more plush while the other was slightly more performance orientated. Eventually went for the performance option because the tongue that goes against your shin was more comfortable so I hope that I made the right choice. Only time will tell and the dice have been cast, there is no way I will be able to return them.

The night life in the Latin Quarter is great and makes for great photography although one really needs to have a tripod of sorts for the low-light stuff.

Final stop before we got home to a really amazing meal of chicken and roast vegetables prepared by our resident cordon-bleu chef, Kim, was shopping for two new suitcases to avoid the R1200 penalty on the way home. Ended up with two very nice delsey semi-rigid wheelie bags which I hope will do the trick.

Gotta slow down tomorrow!

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