The next morning, we had a really good breakfast at the Cafe Serpente, which consisted of some really good Cafe au Lait, and the best croissants of the trip (not quite up to Parisian standards, but close). Then, we made the long, long (10 steps) walk from the cafe to Chartres Cathedral. Even though it was a nice sunny day outside, the cathedral was dark. When we had seen it briefly the night before, the internal lights were on for the concert, but now they were off. Nonetheless, we walked around in awe, snapping whatever pictures our cameras didn't object to (cameras nowadays have a mind of their own. I sort of miss the good, old very dumb cameras I have used for many years, that let you do anything you want, including taking very bad pictures).
Chartres cathedral is very, very old, and large, and beautiful, and mind-boggling. Construction of the current cathedral (there were churches and cathedrals on the site before the current one!) started in 1195! For the arithmetic-challenged among you, that's over 800 years ago. It's impossible to do justice to it in words, and even pictures don't really capture it very well.
Some of the section known as the choir, which is the enclosed section behind the transept, was closed off because it was being restored. Inside you could hear lots of hammers and chisels, striking stone. I realized that this was very, very appropriate, because that's what people heard in the cathedral for hundreds of years, while it was being constructed and updated.
We walked around, snapping pictures and marveling at the stone work and the carvings and the stained-glass, and everything. Eventually, the time came to leave.
Copyright © 2009 by Jeff Kravitz