Yesterday we started out the morning at Sainte-Chapelle, which is one of the most beautiful places ever. Built by St. Louis (King Louis IX) to house the relics of the passion of the Christ, but I likely covered that in a blog post last year, so I'll spare you the details.
The moral of the story is that the windows (depicting the various books of the Bible) are most certainly worth a visit, and it's pretty amazing that they've survived revolutions, fires, and everything else that destroyed other parts of the palace.
We were then supposed to go to mass at Notre Dame (according to our clearly laid out itinerary), but as we approached, we saw that the cathedral was otherwise occupied. There was a large crowd outside and two big screens on either side of the doors showing what appeared to be an ordination (I speak from prior experience with ordinations). We knew, of course, that there would thus be no mass for us, so we went to a café across the street where we could enjoy our coffee and pain au chocolat to the sound of Notre Dame's bells and with a view of the little alter servers lining up to perform their holy duties.
And after our coffee, we headed over to the Conciergerie! It's actually one of my favorite museums in Paris, because it's been such a key piece of history. Also I find the history of the Revolution particularly fascinating. So here's a glimpse of the chapel where Marie Antoinette's cell was (I'll spare you the history lesson that I'm sure I covered in a post last August):
And, you know, me in the women's courtyard for the female prisoners:
Then we went for a lovely lunch in the Latin Quarter at a place my friends and I frequented last year. It was fabulous, and although my parents headed home right after, I wanted to walk around a bit. And I am so so so glad I did! I stumbled upon the pride parade!! It was um completely fabulous! And here I thought I was going to miss out on the pride festivities because I wasn't in Seattle, but Paris had an amazing amazing amazing parade with so many people!
Including this guy who ran right past me with his butterfly wings:
Also, there were a ton of different groups addressing specific issues, like this one focused on the use of the death penalty as punishment for homosexuality in various countries:
This was one of my favorite signs:
And this photo with one of the guys who was standing by me (aka Dominique Strauss-Kahn according to his mask) was definitely a highlight:
And then I actually sort of had to jump in the parade in order to get where I needed to go. This was my view from amidst my fellow parade marchers:
After I met up with my parents, we got connected with our dear friends, Cathy and John, and went out to dinner:
All in all it was a lovely lovely day!
And then this morning my mom and I got up and actually did make it to 8:30 mass at Notre Dame. I will not disclose how long it had been since one or both of us attended mass. It was a lovely service, and my mom got her wish of having been to mass at Notre Dame.
Also, I got to investigate the structure outside Notre Dame, and I have decided that it serves very little, if any, functional purpose. I think it's pretty much to raise awareness about the 850th anniversary of Notre Dame, but I think it would be better if they offered some additional information about the history inside of this blue thing. But I suppose no one asked me.
Inside the blue thing is some stained glass and various quotes about Jesus. I think, however, that the structure in the background is meant to imitate what the palace (of which only Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie remain) would have looked like when Notre Dame was built.
Anyway, after that my mom and I had breakfast at the same café as yesterday and then returned to my father (he may not fall in to quite the same category of Catholic loyalty as we do). Together we ventured out to the marché aux puces at Clignancourt, where I found a hat, and my mom and I both got some tennis shoes (matching) and nail polish. After our purchases, we didn't really feel the need to linger and so moved on to Montmartre. We went through the Basilica and then had lunch at a nice little place nearby, with the cutest baby at the table next to us.
On our walk down to the metro station we detoured to see the Moulin Rouge, and then we headed home. But on the walk from the stop where we got off, we ran into a demonstration that appears to have been related to Egypt's recent protests regarding Morsi.
|The sign in the back says "pain, libérté, justice sociale" or "bread, liberty, social justice."|
But then there were also these anti-marriage equality people who kept driving by and getting in the way of my pictures. They had these obnoxious flags and kept honking, and a ton of them had their kids with them. I really just wanted to see the Egypt demonstrators.
So as to not let the homophobic demonstrators have the last word/photo in this post, here's a reminder of how much bigger and more awesome the pride parade was than their "protest."
|"Love doesn't discriminate, not by sex, not by color."|
So proud of the US (goodbye DOMA and Prop8!) and France for being leaders in the global movement for equality. My two favorite countries are doing good things. And I was lucky enough to witness it this weekend!