Le Pâques à Paris

Paris Travel Blog

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Notre Dame service on Easter! (This was inbetween masses-- not being disrespectful!!!)
Mary and I planned our whole trip around being able to attend Easter mass at Notre Dame. Easter is “Pâques” in French. We got dressed up and got on the metro. It was very exciting.

When we got there there was a service in progress, so we had to wait in a cafe until the next one. We had croissants and orange juice.

Mass was beautiful, but Mary and I were getting very annoyed with everyone there. Of course, it is very important in the Catholic church to be open to everyone, but you could tell that most of the people there had never been to church in their life. Lots of people were taking pictures and everyone was talking during the mass. It was generally very disrespectful. We had to be super strategic in finding a seat because of how many people were trying to watch.
Mary and I in front of Notre Dame, take 1
Other than that though, it was an awesome experience. There were masses going on all day long, and the one that we went to was a Gregorian mass, and so we sang Gregorian music and the music that we got was all in Latin and the music notation was really old school.... I thought that was REALLY neat from my bits of music theory knowledge. We didn’t understand most of what was going on (they don’t have a “Going to Church” section in the high school French textbooks), and had to mumble our way through the “Our Father” so as not to look illegitimate. They had big televisions up filming the priest and the singers in case you couldn’t see. It was like a sports game or something.

We wanted to take pictures after mass, but I am always awkward about asking strangers.
Take 2
Also, it was very, very windy.

We walked around. We saw a street where they were selling pets. That was weird. We enjoyed the sun. We got a little lost trying to find Luxembourg. We ate crêpes (nutella and banana is the all time BEST thing ever). We bought picnic foods at a little grocery store... compté cheese and camembert, a big box of pineapple juice, and an uncertain berry jam.

On the way we made sure to stop and buy a baguette. We felt so French, walking around in our nice clothes, carrying bags with a baguette sticking out... so ridiculous, but so great to indulge in.

We had an AWESOME moment when an American lady came up to us and tried to ask, in French, for directions. We started telling her in English how to get where she was going, and she asked us if we lived around there.
Take 3
HOW COOL!

We walked around Luxembourg Gardens and had a lovely picnic on a patch of grass. Jardin du Luxembourg houses the Luxembourg Palace which contains the French Senate. It also has the fountain Marie de Médicis, which is like something out of a storybook. There was a lot of activity in the gardens. In the pond across from where we were sitting, there were a bunch of people pushing around toy boats. I was hoping they would be having Easter egg hunts, but maybe that’s just an American thing. There were so many people sitting on the grass where we were, talking with friends, singing,... We sat here for what felt like hours talking and eating. There’s that quote that always shows up on travbuddy that says something about how the best memories of traveling are moments of sitting.
Mary rockin' it on Easter
I think this is really true.

In the evening we went to a classical music concert in Saint Eustache. As a result, dinner was not very exciting, as we had to make sure that we ate close by the church, which is a bit more touristy than what was near our hotel. Dinner was not very good. I had some kind of salad. Definitely not the same as having a big ham dinner with my family, like we usually do on Easter.

The concert, though, was incredible. They played a variety of classical composers, and had two female singers accompany most of the pieces. Hearing this in an old, old church was AMAZING. The acoustics were fantastic. I kept daydreaming about what it would have been like to hear live music like this hundreds of years ago. It also gave me time to actually appreciate the interior of the church, which is difficult to do when merely visiting one. Some lady sang “Ave Maria.” That was awesome. Definitely a great memory all in all.

Back at the hotel we watched German MTV and called my parents to wish them happy Easter. I did miss my family, but it was a happy Easter. Aww. 
Vikram says:
The service really is amazing.
Posted on: Apr 14, 2012
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Notre Dame service on Easter! (Thi…
Notre Dame service on Easter! (Th…
Mary and I in front of Notre Dame,…
Mary and I in front of Notre Dame…
Take 2
Take 2
Take 3
Take 3
Mary rockin it on Easter
Mary rockin' it on Easter
Surviving the wind
Surviving the wind
This is where they were selling bi…
This is where they were selling b…
Devouring a chocolate banana crêpe
Devouring a chocolate banana crêpe
Messy!
Messy!
Luxembourg Gardens
Luxembourg Gardens
Marie de Médici fountain-- very b…
Marie de Médici fountain-- very …
Sailboats, pushed with sticks
Sailboats, pushed with sticks
More boats
More boats
And more boats
And more boats
Hooray boats
Hooray boats
Where we picniced
Where we picniced
When I went to Les Halles when I w…
When I went to Les Halles when I …
The concert in Saint Eustache
The concert in Saint Eustache
Paris
photo by: Sweetski