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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The day after MrB and I broke the “rules” of Parisian travel by leaving the city to visit Chantilly, we repeated our evildoing by taking the train to Chartres to see the medieval cathedral there.


The cathedral from a distance.

I wanted to see the cathedral (which, like the famous Parisian cathedral, is called Notre Dame) because it’s particularly well-preserved. The building that’s there today has survived virtually unchanged since the year 1250.  The majority of the stained-glass windows are the original, 13th-century ones — meaning that Chartres has more of its original stained glass than any other medieval cathedral in the world.


I find stained glass to be very inspiring.

Other buildings in town are also well-preserved. We got to look at them when we hopped on a little tourist train for a 35-minute ride around the cathedral’s surroundings. I told MrB that my policy in life is: “If you see a little train, get on it.” Especially on days that are cold, rainy and windy! June felt more like October that day.


The brochure for the train. You can find it right outside the cathedral.

The tour let us peek at quaint cobblestone streets and timbered 15th- and 16th-century buildings.


I wonder what it’s like to live here.

I noticed that quite a few buildings had cheerfully painted shutters.


The lavender shutters were my favorite.

The trip to and from Chartes (on a big train) only took about an hour and 15 minutes. We got back to Paris in time to take a late-cruise on the Seine on one of the Bateaux Mouches. We’ve done this so many times that we don’t listen to any of the commentary on the sights anymore. We just enjoy hanging out on the river. A mini bottle of Champagne and plastic flutes made sitting outside in the chilly weather more bearable.


You can see I’m wearing my trench coat. I had a wool sweater underneath.

When a downpour started, we had to flee to the boat’s indoor seats, but I ran back out to get a good shot of the Eiffel Tower.


Click for some video of the tower twinkling. The video may or may not be sideways, depending on YouTube’s mood.

There is no such thing as too many photos of the Eiffel Tower!

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11 Responses to “Day Trips From Paris, Part II: Chartres”

  1. stacy says:

    AMAZING photos Wendy, I’m living vicariously.
    BTW, you know LP Champagne is my absolute fav!


    Wonderful photos.

  3. Poppy H says:

    Hi Wendy, I see you’re in France and hope you’re enjoying every moment!! I came across your blog the other day and would love to (tell me if this sounds crazy) blog about your blog, and jewelry (of course). All credits to you, links directly to your website and blog. Just wanted to check before. Thanks so much! Poppy

  4. Oh I love stained glass as well, so interesting! There is a local church up here with stained glass windows by Marc Chagall that are divine! Chartres looks so lovely & quaint, I’m so glad you got to see more of France! And I agree, there can never be enough pictures of La Tour Eiffel! (I always take tons every visit!) XXX

  5. 1250 was obviously a good year. I can tell you and Mr. B are thoroughly enjoying yourselves. That shot of the Eiffel Tower is perfect. We’ve got quite a collection of good champagne people have given us over the years that I would love to give you. Neither of us like it and so the bottles just sit there waiting for someone to pop their corks.