On my very last morning in Paris, I woke up feeling sad that I had to leave but happy that in a few short hours I’d be on the Eurostar to London. But before I left I had one more VERY important thing to do – visit Notre Dame Cathedral. So after a hurried breakfast I made my way
down to the Seine and over to the Cathedral. If you’re ever in Paris I can highly recommend staying at the Hotel Abbatial in Saint-Germain – the Seine is roughly a 5 minute walk and all of the other major attractions are no more than a 45 minute walk away. And in my opinion, walking really is the best way to see the city.
Although I visited Notre Dame on my last trip to Paris, I really wanted to go again as it’s so magnificent. It’s probably one of my most favourite places I’ve ever been to. Last time I was there I lined up at the entrance with all the other tourists, had a walk through and then left. But on this visit I took the time to have a proper look at the outside too, including the lovely garden on the opposite side of the entrance. I got there early too when the first lot of tour groups were only just starting to arrive, so there was no line to get in and once inside it was super quiet and not at all crowded. So if you want a peaceful visit, get there early.
I lit a candle while I was there and although I’m not a religious person, it’s difficult not to feel a little moved when walking through this place. I even took the time to just sit quietly for 15 minutes and take in my surroundings, almost in complete silence. It was nice to just sit and think for a while. It’s incredible to think that such an amazing feat of architecture was built without the use of today’s modern technology. From the floor to the ceiling to the stained-glass in between, everything about this place is breathtaking. It’s not difficult to see why Victor Hugo gave it a central role in The Hunchback of Notre Dame – the place is a character unto itself. Alas, Quasimodo was nowhere to be found.
I managed to drag myself out of the cathedral and back to my hotel where I did some last minute packing. Then I checked out, walked down the road to the metro station and made my way to Gare du Nord, where I boarded the Eurostar to London.