Friday, December 24, 2010

April 25th, 2010

Sunday brought us to downtown Paris again, this time in search of the Sunday morning meeting of the local Parisian ward.  We found it in time for sacrament meeting, and they had translation in English for the folks.  From church we hopped a train to Versailles, where we took a tour of the luxurious extravagance of the court of the Sun King.

Murals, paintings, mirrors, chandeliers, it was the seat of power of the world's headquarters of culture in the 17th century.  You could almost see the musketeers patrolling the halls.  We didn't explore the gardens, they were big enough to go hunting stag if we wanted and we were still a little exhausted from the previous day.  We took the train back to Paris and ended up in a little area behind the Notre Dame cathedral.

The funny thing about Notre Dame is that its an incredibly famous landmark now, but in the 1800's it was fairly unknown.  The post-revolutionary French government was in debt and was planning on dismantling the building and selling it for construction parts.  The poet and writer, Victor Hugo heard about this and rightly thought it was a travesty.  He wrote the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame to raise awareness of the building. Sure enough, the national attention caught fire and now it is one of the most famous cathedrals in the world.

We ate dinner in the area behind the cathedral and then returned to the hotel for another night's rest.


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