Saturday, October 6, 2012

Paris with My Mom

It's official. I love Paris! After returning from my third trip to the beautiful city, it's confirmed! As most of you know, I went to Paris last week with my mom to take her to school. She is studying French at the Sorbonne for the next four months and I know she is going to have a wonderful time!

Our week together was so special. Mom's apartment is really cute, located in a very nice part of town. One day we went for a walk and within 15 minutes, we were at Notre Dame! Another time I wandered down another direction and happened upon one of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen in my life. It was amazing! There was a zoo, a green house and the most gorgeous flowers and plants. The walkway was lined with trees that practically touched the sky and hung over the road. It was breathtaking.

During my time there we visited three different cities that were just a train ride away from Paris.

Our first trip was to Rouen. This city was home to Joan of Arc. She was imprisoned and killed here in the 1400s. We went to the Rouen Cathedral, which was so beautiful. The impressionist painter Monet rented an apartment across the street from the cathedral and painted the church at varying times of day and in different seasons. Overall, he painted at least 30 depictions. While we were there, we went to the Musee Beaux-Arts, which had several impressionists paintings, including one of Monet's Rouen Cathedral paintings! It was neat! The streets of Rouen were cobblestone and there were several pedestrian streets that we wandered down. The buildings were hundreds of years old. It was amazing! I loved Rouen!

Our second trip was to Chartres. This day was an adventure because when mom and I got to the train station that morning, we had no idea where we were going. We had a Eurail pass, but unfortunately in France, the pass is not all it's cracked up to be. Most trips still require a reservation, so it was difficult to find cities that still had availability, especially on the same day. So, we ended up booking tickets for a few days later and then catching a train to the small town of Chartres which was just an hour away from Paris. Mom actually went to Chartres when she was in high school on a church choir tour around Europe. Her group sang in the Chartres Cathedral, so it was neat to go back there with her!

When we first stepped out of the train station, we saw a ferris wheel, so obviously we had to ride it! Then we went to the cathedral and the neatest part was that they were in the process of restoring the building and cleaning all of the marble. The part that they had finished was gorgeous! It was so neat to see this 12th Century church looking the same way as it did when it was first built! The grounds around the cathedral were also beautiful. Chartres also had many pedestrian streets and it was fun to shop around. I bought a beautiful teapot to add to my collection. It was a little pricey, but so worth it!! I love it! We also happened upon a motorcycle rally. I'm not sure what was going on, but it was entertaining.

Our final train trip took us to the eastern city of Strasbourg. This city is in the region known as Alsace-Lorraine and it is right next to Germany. My mom knows a little bit about her heritage through her birth mother and one of the things she knows is that her family was originally from this region. We aren't sure which city they lived in, but we know it was nearby. So, it was really neat to go here with mom and see a part of our heritage! We accidentally climbed 400 steps to the top of the cathedral (miscommunication that led to a beautiful view!) and we took a boat tour of the city that was really pretty! All in all, it was a neat place to see!

And, on top of all of that, we still found time to go around Paris! I went to visit the American Church of Paris with mom, which is where she plans to attend. It was neat to worship with fellow believers in France. I think only about 2% of the French population are Christians, and so this is obviously a very unreached country. It's amazing that it has some of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen, and yet there are so many there that don't know the Lord. It breaks my heart. I have been praying for opportunities for my mom to be able to share the Gospel with those she meets.

I also got to meet up with some of my DBU friends who were on a "Band of Brothers" trip around Europe. They were in Paris for a day, and we were able to meet up at the Eiffel Tower. I love being able to meet up with friends in different parts of the world! It's always neat when that works out!

My last day in Paris I spent strolling the streets around the Seine and taking in all of my favorite sites! My mom had orientation and so I decided I was just going to walk around the city. I went over to the Louvre (which is closed on Tuesday, in case you were wondering! I didn't know until I got there) and walked to the Tuileres garden. It was so pretty! I found a chair right by a fountain and in front of me was the Arc de Triumph, to the right was Sacre Coure, to the left was the Eiffel Tower and the Musee D'Orsay and behind me was the Louvre. It was magical! As I was sitting there, I was reading in a travel book that you could get into the Musee D'Orsay for free at 5 o'clock, because they close at 6, and it just happened to be 15 minutes until 5. So, I walked across the street and went right into the museum. They have the best collection of impressionist art anywhere in the world! I went to the newly remodeled wing and walked around, seeing paintings from my favorite artists. Then, I went back outside and strolled along the Seine and ended up at Notre Dame Cathedral. I went in and they were having mass. It was so wonderful. I didn't understand what they were saying, but it was such a beautiful time of worship. I serve a mighty God and I loved being able to worship Him in one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. Then, I grabbed a chocolate crepe and walked back to mom's apartment. It was perfect!.

I loved being in Paris with Mom and getting to spend a week with her! I am so excited about her adventure over the next few months! I know it's going to be unforgettable! We all miss her already, and it was hard to leave, but it was a great trip! I am so thankful God gave me the opportunity to go. Until next time, Au Revior!


  1. YAY! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time with your mom in Paris! It sounds like you'll need to go back again and again. Thanks for sharing your trip and your adventures :)

  2. What a great travel writer you are, Kalie :) Thanks for sharing your beautiful adventure - your pictures captured your words too! Very proud you and your sweet Mom!

  3. I LOVE the pictures! I am so ready to travel. Maybe we can meet up in a foreign city someday! Glad you are back =-)