Friday, December 5, 2014

Basilique Cathédrale de Saint-Denis, Le Centre Pompidou - France Vacation -- Day 5

Bonjour! Well another day is coming to a close for us here in France. And just like the past few, we've packed in as much as we could. We got a bit of a late start today, but that was due to the fact that we were planning out the next few days. I can't wait to share with you what's coming!

This morning I finally crawled into bed at around 2:45 AM. I'm thoroughly enjoying blogging about our trip, but it's quite time consuming. And honestly, the fact that I have so many people commenting on here as well as my RHOSC FaceBook page (click here to go there) makes it all worth it! I love hearing your feedback. I love that you feel like you are on this trip with us. And I love that I'm able to show you things that you may not have seen or even known about before! :)

I rolled out of bed at around 8:30 AM...and it felt so good to get some decent sleep. I came out to the living room to find Michael already enjoying his morning coffee. So I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and started making breakfast. Yesterday I bought a "version" of bacon at the Monoprix (grocery store)...and I was QUITE excited to get that on my plate this morning. Of course we had croissants and an over easy egg. And of course I also snarfed down the better part of a baguette ;-). I mean...when in Rome, right? But this morning I had another mimosa. Michael declined to join me, so I just added his champagne to my glass. :)'s a good way to start the day! Put a little pep in my step!

We spent the better part of the morning here in the flat trying to figure out what we wanted to do with our time this coming week. We've settled on two - two day trips! Tomorrow morning we are leaving for the Loire River Valley. We're taking the 7 AM train out of Paris to Tours, then renting a car to go exploring. If you haven't heard of the Loire River better read my blog the next few days to see what we are exploring! We'll come back to Paris on Sunday night...spend the day in Paris on Monday, then leave Tuesday morning, early, for the Normandy Coast. We have a couple of places we are going to visit. And like everything else, I can't wait to experience it all and share it with you as well! So the next four or five days will be full of fun, driving, excitement and emotion. :) I hope you join me!

Well now...let's get back to the matter at's adventures in Paris. We finally managed to get our things together and headed out the door at around 11:30 this morning. We made our way to the Gare Montparnasse to get our train tickets for tomorrow, then hopped on the Metro to the Basilique de Saint-Denis stop. Michael had been wanting to visit the Basilique Cathédrale de Saint-Denis for quite some time, it's where the monarchs of France were buried. So we made it there, and they are doing some restoration on the front of the cathedral so I didn't get a picture of it. But we made our way inside and I was immediately blown away by the soaring arches and the vaulted ceilings. The Gothic style arches were amazing. I can't say it enough about any of the cathedrals we've visited in Europe...the sheer size of these are mind blowing. To think that these beautiful structures were built without all the modern equipment that we have today. I just can't even wrap my head around how they accomplished these amazing feats!

We walked throughout the main part of the cathedral, before making our way outside to get our tickets and portable auto tour devices. I can't stress this enough, if you ever come to Europe and tour cathedrals or anything else that offers an audio the extra money and get the audio tour. The amount of information you will get from them is invaluable. And instead of walking around a cathedral, you will step back in time and experience what it was like while it was being built or feel like you were a part of the events that took place there. When we toured Westminster Abbey in London, we did the audio tour...and I swear it was like Prince Harry was standing next to me holding my hand. ;-) Again...that's a whole different blog post.

I'm just going to post some pictures from the inside of the cathedral. I will caption some, and others...I just want you to enjoy the beauty of this magnificent cathedral.

After getting our audio tour device, we made our way into the area that is next to the high alter. And this is where we stepped into the world of monarchy and world that surrounded the cathedral when it was a monastery and the resting place of the kings. They have many sarcophaguses in the cathedral, and each one has a story behind it, as you can imagine. Apparently, while some of the bodies were interred in them after their deaths, most of the bodies have been removed and placed in the cemetery that adjoins the church.

While Michael and I were standing looking at the stained glass windows in the picture below, a little old French lady grabbed my arm. She was so cute, she had on this long, tan winter coat that went down to her shins. And she had this cute yellow stocking cap on. :) She grabbed my arm and asked me if I understood how significant the stained glass on the right was. She went on to say that it was the first time that the Jesse Tree was ever depicted in stained glass, or mentioned at all. And after it was done here, other cathedrals used it. She stood there and marveled at the stained glass, and seemed so proud of it. It's so wonderful to see someone with so much passion.

After we finished the audio tour for the main part of the cathedral, it was time to head down into the crypt. It was interesting listening to the audio tour talk about the process used to prepare the bodies for burial. I found it quite interesting that they would remove the heart and entrails of the kings...considering they were Catholic...this raised my eyebrow. But most of the time, the heart is in an urn of it's own.

Story behind Saint Denis is that he was beheaded by the Romans. This happened in MontMarte. As the story goes, he picked up his head and walked to where the location where the current Basilique Cathédrale de Saint-Denis stands today.

Below is the heart of Louis XVII. The story behind this is crazy as well. There was a lot of deception, and losing of this heart...literally. But it finally came into the right hands and is now displayed here in crypt of the cathedral.

We spent several hours here today, and I couldn't help but wonder what they did for heat during the winter. It wasn't all that cold today, but inside the cathedral my hands were quite cold, and I swear you could see your breath.

The history in France is amazing. I know I say that a lot, and maybe I just use that as "filler" when I don't know what else to say...but I do mean it. We don't have the same kind of history in the United States...and clearly that is because as a nation, we are much younger than the European nations. Believe me...I get that. :) But you know what I mean. It's even like traveling to the East Coast...and visiting Boston. The history there, as opposed to Los Angeles, is quite different. But I digress.

After spending our time at Saint-Denis, we made our way back into Paris for lunch. We settled on a place near the Hôtel de Ville Metro stop. I had a wonderful gnocchi and Michael had a dish that he called...Mac and Cheese with a Poached egg on top. :)

Okay folks...I'm about to get REAL with you all. Now we all know my feelings on museums. They can be wonderful...or they can be quite mind numbing. Today...Michael decided that he wanted me to go to Le Centre Pompidou with him. It's Paris's Modern Art Museum. can I put this, politely? I honestly don't know what makes most of the things in this museum art. For instance:

This is not art. This is something I see at Home Depot every day. It's called...the fork-lift operator didn't know where to put this pallet so he just left it on this white board in the middle of the floor.

Or this...please tell me what this is? I just...I have no words.

And then there is THIS masterpiece. Two large blocks of Styrofoam with some chunks on the floor in front of it. This isn't art...this is called a mess that my husband would yell at me for leaving in the middle of the floor after I put together some piece of furniture from Ikea.

And there is this. This is apparently self portraits done by a blind person. **shakes head** Okay...was the person who did this actually blind? If dude...that's rude.

And last, but not least, here is a chair hanging on the wall. A chair...HANGING ON THE WALL.

I have decided that when I return back to BP Farms I am finally going to name my work shop. It shall be known as "BP Farmpidou." Everything that I've seen at Le Centre Pompidou today is currently in my shop. No lie. So from now on whenever Michael tells me to clean up the mess in the shop...I will simply tell him, "This is an art installation. People pay a lot of money to see this." Tickets for the BP Farmpidou will be on sale just after the New Year.

Okay, maybe I'm being a bit ignorant or un-accepting of "Modern Art," and I hope that I didn't offend any of you who may be totally into it. But seriously...A CHAIR HANGING ON A WALL. **shakes head.**

Here are some shots from outside Le Centre Pompidou.

Well it's time for me to crawl into bed. We have a busy few days ahead of us...and I'm quite excited! We leave early tomorrow morning and will return to Paris late on Sunday night. Michael told me that we are spending the night in a castle. I'm not sure what to expect...but I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up on either an episode of Fear Factor or Paranormal Witness. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Bonne nuit! And until next time...Keep Cookin'!


  1. Sandy Striffler SchwagerDecember 5, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Awesome pictures! Disappointed no new pictures of Michael's hands!

  2. Fascinating Brian!! And the beauty of those stained glass windows. I can only imagine what they look like in person. Wow!

  3. Can't stop laughing at the Pompidou write up. Of course John says after looking at the chair on the wall "oh but don't you see the shadow?" Don't you get it?" I slugged him. Saint Denis is stunning. I'll add that to the list of places to visit when we go next time. Mmmm...more dead people. I'm happy to see you made it in and out of a Catholic cathedral without going up in flames. Phew. xo Enjoy the Loire!

  4. The chairs shadow looks like a scarab beetle.

  5. I have one of those styrofoam installations at my house right now! I'm loving all of the pics, thanks for sharing!

  6. RaindropsonrosesandwhiskersonkDecember 7, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Great pictures, I'm so enjoying your trip.. what about the fashion scene? Have you noticed a difference in the styles on the street?
    You'll have to excuse me, it;s one of the things I love when I go back to Europe:-)

  7. The basilica was gorgeous, I'm so impressed whenever we visit one!

  8. Donna, Can you imagine walking with your head in your hands? ;-) I'm so happy you are enjoying being on this trip with us!

  9. Face...that is one thing I am worried about whenever we go into a cathedral. Its one reason why I never touch the holy burns. ;-)

  10. It looks like the shadow of a chair hanging on a wall. LOL Just kidding. Kinda. ;-)

  11. Oh the modern art...I can't believe the trash they can pass off. And that woman was so sweet. It's wonderful to see the passion in someone's eyes and pride as well. And as far as sleeping in the castle...I slept so soundly that I didn't hear any bumps LOL

  12. HAHAHA We all do! LOL So happy you are enjoying the pics!

  13. Well, big chunky scarves and sweaters are in. As well as red jeans. And it seems that (as Michael says) the youth are rolling up the bottoms of their jeans. Oh...and when did stone washed/acid washed jeans make a come back?!?

  14. Oh there will be more, I promise!

  15. RaindropsonrosesandwhiskersonkDecember 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    Chunky scarves and sweaters sounds wonderful:-) Are you planning to treat yourself to a piece of clothing while there ~ a scarf of sweater maybe? Go on spoil yourself:-)