We took a slow grain back to Paris getting in around 9:30 tonight. As we turned the corner to our apartment, there was a couple with a map trying to read under a street light. I asked if I could help them, and they were delighted to hear English spoken. With a bad google map they were looking for their hotel which happened to be just a few blocks away. I could tell they were tired and frustrated, so I walked them home only to discover it was the mayor of Brooklyn, NY and his wife. All making a day of fun with four miles of fitbit walking in the cold. Tomorrow: Bishop Doré visit at the seminary and dinner with Jean and Nicole.
It is past midnight here in France, so this is already a day late as far as I’m concerned; but it was a day of travel and surprises which is the best part of these adventures. We spent the biggest part of the morning simply reading and relaxing until I looked out the window at the little patch of sky we can see. It was bright sunshine and cloudless blue sky. So we got up and got moving with the intention of just walking around the neighborhood. When we got to the street Jim reminded me that I had mentioned a train ride to Amiens, so off we went to Gare du Nord for the next train north. For a little less than $50 each we got a train within thirty minutes that took an hour and fifteen minutes for the 90 mile trip to the north. The trouble with getting 90 miles closer to the North Sea is that we lost the sunshine and it got considerably colder.
I have certainly not seen nearly one tenth of the great gothic Cathedrals, but among those I have seen, including the one here in Paris, Amiens is my favorite. I think it’s the light; but the proportions are so pleasing, the aisles wide, the exterior so fascinating and decorative. We spent the entire afternoon there exploring the inside and the outside all the way around. The approach to the South Portal from the street is exciting, and here is a picture.
Then the statue of the Virgin at that door is so full of life and joy. She smiles, and the infant smiles too. So does Father Hackett.
Here is the interior that takes your breath away not just because it was VERY cold inside, but because it is so light, so high, so beautiful. This is looking east, and the next picture looks west over the main altar toward the west door.
Here is a look at some of the glass. There are several panels not destroyed by the two great wars which were very destructive here in Picardy.
We stayed till nightfall, and had the delightful occasion to meet a wonderful and cheerful American Lady from California who was spending some time in the Cathedral while her French husband was visiting his other in Amiens. We had some hot chocolate to warm up sitting with her, and the Cathedral lit up for the night. I took 72 pictures today!
Here is the way it looked as we left tonight.
One last look at the whole thing.