Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sunday Mass in Notre Dame and Palais-Royal

The next day was a Sunday an we had our city tour of Paris by coach in the morning. The weather was not too good and the first stop was a gloomy view of the Eiffel Tower, a far cry from the twinkling one that we saw in the early part of our tour. However, it gave the tower a mystic look.

The coach then went passed the popular tourist sites - Triumphant Arch, Champs Elysees, Concorde, Granier Opera, etc. before stopping near the Notre Dame. Since this was a Sunday, there were already a big crowd and we joined the queue to get in.

There was a Mass inside so the guided tour was conducted in low volume but most people were more interested to take photos rather than listen to the commentry. There was not much light inside so my photos (taken from my video) turned out rather soft.

The outdoor shots were better like this one showing the left portal.

The guide that took us to a souvenir shop by the side of the Notre Dame for some shopping and the use of the toilet there. According to my wife (after visiting other souvenirs shops), the price here is reasonable and the quality of the souvenirs is better than in other shops that she had visited. It is located next to a sandwich shop, facing the side of Notre Dame, if you need to find it.

Since there was another Mass in the morning at 11.30am, we decided to leave the group and stayed behind for this Mass. While my wife continued her souvenir hunting, I went to the garden at the back of the Notre Dame to take more videos.

At the garden, I saw the charity scam in action, this girl was pretty well dressed up. To sign or not to sign?

To enter the Notre Dame for the Mass, there was another entrance just next to the one for normal visitors. There was no queue while the normal one had a very long line. We picked our seats and waited for the Mass to start. It was an international mass where the priest welcome the attendees in four languages and the second reading was done in English. Other than that, the Mass was in French. It was quite an experience with the singing and the pipe organ providing the solemn music. 

After the Mass we went to Sainte-Chapelle but there was a long queue so we decided to have our lunch first. We had the 3-course set menu for 14E each at a corner restaurant opposite the Sainte-Chapelle. We chose French onion soup as the starter and it turned out to be good, much better than the one I had in Avalon. Just look at the amount of cheese floating on the toast in the soup. 

We went to Sainte-Chapelle after our lunch and found the queue even longer so I decided to visit it on another day after we have got our Museum Pass. Instead we took the metro to Palais-Royal since we need to get the Cosmos coach back to the hotel. It would be picking the rest of the tour group from opposite the Tuileries metro stop. There was a string orchestra performing near the entrance to the Palace. This is one of the biggest group of street performer that I have seen.

We strolled passed the courtyard of the palace with the fanciful stripped columns

and another tranquil garden and fountain.

We exited the Palace, crossed the street and then went through the courtyard of the Lourve with the glass pyramid,
pass the Tuileries garden,

and back on to the Tuileries metro stop on Rue de Rivoli to meet up with the other waiting members of our tour group. The Cosmos bus came and pick us back to the hotel for some rest before we ventured out again for the evening's event.

To end this post, here's the short clip on the string orchestra outside the Palais-Royal.

Ronald Kwok

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