bye bye paris hello chartres

| No Comments


Staying an extra day we finally leave our place in paris to hop on the train to chartres. Notice the luggage. We got really used to using these great little daypacks that separate from the larger backpack. Now putting the whole thing on our backs seems kind of silly because after all, the larger pack has wheels. Granted we don't look like the hip backpacking family but who cares. The wheels got lots of use after this. I can't say enough about how great this luggage worked, especially considering how much photo gear we were carrying (minus a stolen camera at this point). It was amazingly deceptive.


Off the train and into the town of chartres. Travel weary, we roll our luggage, bumpity bumpity, up and down the streets of chartres, me lagging behind, "ok where is the damn hotel".


WOW, there is the cathedral, notre dame de chartres. ok, I am better now.


Not the tourist mecca that is notre dame, chartres cathedral was relatively empty. Quiet and serene and tripod friendly we spent hours in this medieval church. We have gone back in time again as this building was begun in 1194. Another relic bearing cathedral, this one claims the tunic of the virgin mary.


It is late in the afternoon and I am pretty focused on photographing these amazing windows (167 of them), the guys are in another section of the cathedral, Bryan filming and Daniel taking in the imagery and chatting with one of the priests. Services are held here by a small number of townspeople and as I am so focused on what I am doing on the otherside of the large screen (that took two centuries to carve) begins a vesper service. It is a rare moment when you are face to face with such ancient beauty accompanied by the lifting of sweet voices that echo like angels all around. I had to catch me breath.

the screens.


After having dessert at a little family owned cafe across from the chapel we wandered around the grounds taking in this amazing structure. It is surrounded by a fortress was that looks down on an imaculately kept labyrinth. We continued to wander around this magical place as the sun started to set. Next to the cathedral was the museum of decorative arts and to our delight and suprise music started to play and lights projected onto this building. A charming multimedia played on the face of this structure as people casually gathered to enjoy the entertainment. We watched for a while and after it looped a couple of times we decided to move back toward the cathedral.

This time we approached it from another side and as we did we noticed something really strange. The faces and figures carved in the stonework looked as if they had been painted in pastels which looked really wierd until we realized that colored light was being projected onto it from an ajacent building. We marveled at this for a moment and then heard more music coming from the front of the building. We followed the noise and by now it was totally dark but as we rounded the corner, what a surprise. Another multimedia projection on the whole face of the cathedral was in process. The multimedia consisted of imagery made from the windows of the cathedral(the same windows I had photographed earlier). Groups of people sat lazily on the park lawn at the foot of this great building and we took our place among them. The music continued and there was applause at the finish from all who had gathered. The stars had come out and the program began again. We sat through it three times laying on the cool grass. What a perfect ending to a magical day. Hard to believe we were hauling luggage around town just a few hours ago.

Leave a comment

October 2010

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on July 3, 2005 12:13 PM.

sleep, shop and chill was the previous entry in this blog.

chartres again is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.