In search of Quasimodo - Notre Dame Cathedral
A wise old gargoyle once told a young man - "Quasi, take it from an old spectator. Life's not a spectator sport. If watchin' is all you're gonna do, then you're gonna watch your life go by without ya."
But hey, is watching life go by really that bad when you've got prime seats - the rooftops of Notre Dame?
Satisfied from that morning's early breakfast, we queued up to clamber up the western facade of the cathedral. Being the usual early birds, it didn't take that long until we were ushered in the spiraling staircase.
387 steps take you to the top of the towers, with only one stop in between. Now that's one way of burning off breakfast calories.
Sadly, by the time we made it to the top, the sky had clouded over, and a foggy Paris spread out below us. The dark Haussmann rooftops stretched out as far as we could see, and the tip of la Tour Eiffel disappeared in the clouds. Over to the East, Montmartre winked at us atop its hillock.
Guided by the stony gargoyles and chimeras, we walked the circumference of the bell towers, admiring the view from every angle. The Seine flowed peacefully, and life continued its busy bustle below us.
The beauty of the heart of Paris is simply incredible. Walking among the statues you can feel the history of centuries around you - this cathedral has seen Paris through the medieval ages, the brutal French Revolution, wars and so many social and political changes. Notre Dame has been through it all, together with its people.
Plan your trip to Notre Dame here. Go early (but not too early like I did!), wrap up warm and get ready to watch life flow by, for a little while at least.