C'est si bon!

Bonjour à tous! Je suis Vanessa, étudiante de 20 ans en France pour le moment. Je viens de Pékin, mais j'étudie à la fac à Chicago.

Hello! My name is Vanessa, a 20-year-old student in France for the moment. I come from Beijing, but I go to college in Chicago.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A day away from the city

flower market at Chartres
Bonjour à tous! 

This past Saturday I took a delightful day trip to the small town of Chartres southwest of Paris, reachable by train in one hour. For those who are tired of the city's hustle, trust me, Chartres is the perfect place for a day of relaxation.

The picturesque town is known for its fresh flower market,  Notre Dame Cathedral (one of the four best ones in France! The other three in Reims, Amiens, and Rouen, respectively), simple yet refreshing parks, and chic cafes. 

My first stop when I arrived was of course, the cathedral. Yes, I'm that art history nerd, but really, look at it!
facade of the cathedral

interior of the cathedral, view of the rose window and ceiling
If you thought Notre Dame de Paris was tall, then you'll find yourself in the wrongest of wrong. In fact, the one in Paris is only 96 meters high, while the one in Chartres stands at a shocking 113 meters! With its asymmetrical pointy towers, it looks even taller than that.

Immediately upon entry, I felt like I understood why Gothic churches especially made people feel the ferventness to worship God - it was just so incredibly tall! Looking up was some serious neck exercise, and the awe that it inspired from me was just endless. And I live in a modern society where there are sky scrapers - just imagine how the people of the twelfth century who dwelled in humble two-floor huts must have felt when they set foot in this cathedral!
me on top of the cathedral!
In fact, another perk of the cathedral is that at certain times of the day, the towers are open to public for a climb (which felt like an endless workout on the StairMaster at my gym), which offer a perfect spot for a panoramic view of Chartres. Note that the photo above is deceptive - behind my smile I am screaming TIRED. This morning I woke up with sore, protesting calves. 

candles inside the cathedral that made me nostalgic of Peddie...
After the cathedral, I took a stroll in the flowers market and saw the most flawless roses in my life for astonishingly cheap. I have never seen roses this full-blown, this symmetrical, before. And there wasn't even one spot of wilting!

By then, I was succumbing to my craving for ice cream (don't tell me you don't crave ice scream, because somehow I always do), so I bought a cone of white chocolate ice cream and just sat and people-watched. Everyone on that golden Saturday afternoon was so well-dressed - I was impressed.

Last but not least, a picture of the historic streets of Chartres...

a street in Chartres
After a week of running about Paris, I found the rest and quiet that I needed in Chartres. Beautiful town with friendly people and a goooooorgeous cathedral.

Vanessa :]

No comments:

Post a Comment