We’re almost back to regularly scheduled programming! Which, as it happens, is rarely ‘regular’ or ‘scheduled’… hmm. Ah well, here’s the recap of our last full day in beautiful France.
Tuesday morning we rolled out of bed in our comfy rooms at Belle Valle and had to pull ourselves away from the view to go down to breakfast.
Our hosts whipped up a delectable breakfast for us, complete with strawberries freshly picked from the garden and made-to-order eggs. We also had a lovely conversation with a very kind, hilarious British couple who were also eating breakfast. They were just about to go home as well after spending the past few days cycling parts of France. Exciting!
Unfortunately we had to move along as well. Yet again, we threw our stuff in the car, this time to head to Chartres. There had been talk of going to Disneyland Paris the night before and I almost fell out of my chair with excitement, but my parents determined that we didn’t have enough time to go to an amusement park. It’s still on my Europe bucket list! For this trip, I had to settle with a 13th century cathedral. Bummer, right?
The Cathedrale des Chartres is the most intimidating church I’ve been inside, I think. It is massive and makes you feel like you’ll be swallowed up if you put one toe out of line. It even feels bigger than St. Peter’s; when I’m in the basilica I feel like I’d get a smack on the wrist for stepping out of line, rather than eaten alive.
The stained glass windows of the cathedral were removed and hidden for each World War to make sure no damage was done. The Belle Verrière window has panes from 1180! After walking around inside the church, we paid to go up to the North Tower. I don’t know how many steps we climbed but it was a loong way up. The views from the top were incredible! You can walk all the way around the tower and see the entire town.
The grounds around the cathedral are also quite pretty. We walked around the base before grabbing a quick snack at a nearby cafe.
That was all the fun to be had for Tuesday. We spent the rest of the day in traffic trying to get to our hotel in Paris; staying in a hot, cramped, Comfort Hotel; and eating mediocre Italian food because the French restaurant we planned on going to was closed. Yikes! We went to bed quickly after dinner in preparation for our 4:00 am wake-up call.