Notre Dame is a part of Paris just as much as the Eiffel Tower is for me. As I pulled together some images for this post, I realized just how many times I have photographed Notre Dame over the years. I have taken many strolls on the Seine just alongside Notre Dame and some of my favorite picnics have been with Notre Dame in the background. You can’t forget cherry blossom season with the park next to Notre Dame just bursting with blossoms. It may be one of the times Notre Dame is the busiest outside for these two week window.
I took a step back from social media while I was in London and Paris just to soak it all up and be present. I arrived on the Eurostar from London to Paris just as the news broke about the fire. I was staying close to Galleries Lafayette in the center of the city. I planned to make my usual walk to the Seine for sunset but the fire changed my plans. As I stood outside the Opéra house I could see smoke coming from the Seine filling the sky. I decided to stay away from the fire and the chaos and stayed close to the hotel.
As I sat at dinner reading news updates, I couldn’t think about my last trip to Notre Dame. I was invited by Secret Journeys for a private tour inside Notre Dame in March. It was just a small group of us and a group that was preparing for a concert later that evening. I had planned on sharing my experience with Secret Journeys with you in hopes you would take this unique opportunity and tour. The company does offer amazing insider opportunities at other locations in Paris and Versailles is coming soon.
I walked down to the Seine the next two days in Paris to see Notre Dame. The area was blocked off but there were mobs of people taking photos and trying to catch a glimpse. I have never seen the area so busy and I expect it to stay this way for a while. The vendors surrounding Notre Dame were packed as well including restaurants and souvenir shops.
There was a great article titled, “What Notre-Dame Means to Parisians and All of Us” that was in last week’s links I love. I would love to know your personal story and reflections of Notre-Dame. Feel free to comment below.