The day started early with a 7:20am train ride back to Paris. The entire trip was on the TGV, with no driving in between. We arrived in Paris around 12:30pm and took a taxi back to the hotel. We grabbed lunch at the cafe near Notre Dame and planned the rest of the day.
Jennie had mentioned a trip to Versailles, but it was over one hour to get there via subway or car. We chose to stay a bit more local and walked to the Louvre. Since we were getting there near the closing time, there was no line to wait in and in minutes we were walking the galleries.
What does a first time Louvre visitor look for? The Mona Lisa of course. We made our way to that gallery and were pleasantly surprised at the large amount of religious art found along the way. Many of the paints were done in Byzantine icon styles. We finally found the Mona Lisa and it was a bit underwhelming. The crowd was at least 20 people deep, everyone clamoring for a selfie with the painting. We got a peek, shrugged our shoulders and left that gallery. Closing time was approaching so we decided to make our exit and find some food.
As we were walking we saw a sign for St. Germain. We went inside and found a mixture of beautiful catholic architecture, surrounding a post-conciliar altar that looked hideous. France was a place where the "spirit of Vatican II" could be seen. In magnificent churches and cathedrals, where many saints walked, worshiped and prayed, you see the sad attempt to modernize the mass. Look at the modern altar in St. Germain. Surrounded by a beautiful aspe and grand high altar is this:
Contrast that with the rest of this beautiful church and see what the Spirit of Vatican II has done to the churches.
We left St. Germain and found our way to a sidewalk bistro. We ordered some good French wine and a cheese/meat plate. Most of the cheeses were great, except for that horrible tasting/smelling camembert. It was disgusting. But, sitting in the shadows of St. Chapelle watching the Parisiens line up for a concert was a great way to end the day.
We walked back to the hotel, stopped for some sorbet and called it a night.
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