Friday, February 15, 2013

Awesome first morning!

After about 14 hours' sleep, we are rested from our overnight flight and our bio-rhythms are about in sync to Paris time. I went out to get some Euros from an ATM and then went shopping for groceries. Came back and made a chicken salad that Donna really liked: 2 pieces of boneless chicken, chopped and grilled in oil, pepper and some French spice that smelled like cumin.  Added a chopped tomato from Morocco and 3 hardboiled eggs left over from breakfast to some medium-chopped lettuce, then mixed in some basalmic vinegar and olive oil. C'est magnific!

Next we took the M2 to Place De Clichy (famous for the Moulin Rouge) and changed to the M13 to the Basilica of St Denis, a 2nd century saint beheaded by the Romans. Legend has it he carried his head 6 miles from Montmartre (mount of the martyr) to this spot.  This is my 8th time to Paris and my 1st time here. It is the first Gothic cathedral ever built. It was built about 900 years ago by abbot Suger. Suger was a really smart guy who persuaded Louis VII to ally himself with the mercantile tradesmen rather than the aristocracy: a path that centralized power in the monarchy creating the nation of France. The cathedral is awesome!  Surely the peasants viewed this sparkling interior (we came on a sunny day) as where God lived.  The 900 year old rose window is the world's 1st.

72 French kings are buried here including Charles "the Hammer" Martel - the father of Charlemagne - who in the 600s  stopped the invading Muslim army in southern France, preserving it for Christianity.  His sarcophagus is the one on the right

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