Saturday, July 19, 2014

Le Tour de France: Chartres

Sunday, June 22
From Dinan, we left the toll-free roads of Brittany and made our way to Chartres. We found Les Conviv'Hôtes, where our host Sylvie remembered that we tried to go to France last year! The ville room was lovely, and we rested for a bit before walking to the cathedral. It is so, so big. Massive. Dan declared it was his favorite church. There was some renovation work inside, I think around the labyrinth. Mass had just begun, so we stayed for that. There was some nice singing that I enjoyed, otherwise it was just like mass at home, except in French obviously.

Chartes Cathedral

Dan checking out the doorway

Astronomical clock (non functional)

We enjoyed dinner on the terrace at Bistrot de la Cathédrale, then went back to the cathedral for the free concert of Vivaldi. I never tire of hearing music echoing through the big stone churches.

Concert at Chartres Cathedral 

Labyrinth

Buttresses

Sylvie had told us about Chartres en Lumières and pointed out some sights on the map, so we walked around to see a few of the light projections..quite interesting how they use the buildings as a canvas.

Église Saint-Pierre

Église Saint-Pierre

We did not recognize the people's faces projected all over the city's walls and wondered if they were French historical figures, or specific to Chartres. At one point a little train passed by, but the narration was French. We returned to the cathedral, where there was music and animated scenes projected on three sides. Dan and I enjoyed the show, but wondered how people who live in the neighborhood feel about seeing and hearing it on repeat, nightly.

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Sunday, June 22
After breakfast we went to the tourism office to rent binoculars to look at some of the stained glass details (forgot to pack them), then we did the audio tour of the cathedral. Of course we saw several groups of French schoolchildren, including one singing in the Notre-Dame du Pillier chapel. Like listening to angels.

French school children

Dan wanted to tour the crypt, which was mostly in French, but a nice Canadian gentleman translated for Dan. It was very chilly down there, and more interesting than I expected. I guess I didn't take any photos. After a quick lunch, we walked along the Eure river. Then we were off toward Blois in the Loire Valley!

Eure River

Walking around Chartres

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