Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Fantômes de Chartres

I was lucky enough to be in France recently where I joined my cousin, who was celebrating a milestone birthday, on a tour of Northern France. We drove from Paris to Normandy and back. There were many amazing sights seen and much in the way of good food eaten --no, really it was almost always GREAT food! Before I bore you to death with all my gargoyle snaps I will first show you this - a short video featuring the sights of our overnight stay in Chartres. And to those of you who might be looking for a somewhat spooky experience...well, try walking around that city in the dark on a cool September night!

After an amazing meal, bien sûr, we headed to Chartres Cathedral at about 10:00 pm. This is where you begin the Chartres en Lumière tour. Entranced by the light show projected onto the church and the accompanying music, it was probably 10:30 pm before we headed out for the rest of the self-guided tour. We followed a small crowd into a open garden area and then back to the other side of the cathedral. Then things got confusing.

We couldn't quite figure out where the blue lights, embedded in the sidewalks and meant to guide you, led next. The small crowd around us began to thin out. We turned and went back through the dark garden only to realize the lit doorway we'd seen was barred. So back through the garden (thank you flashlight app) and around to the church by which point it was just my cousin and I. But we were pretty excited about it all and so continued on towards the river - which is where I saw one of the last people (a man carrying a paper bag and finishing off a can of beer) we were to pass that night. The streets were pretty much deserted -- historic buildings, dim pools of light, narrow winding streets, a mossy river --- a bit like wandering the set of a murder mystery or supernatural thriller. Nothing horrific came to pass as we continued on our way but by the time we were done and back at our hotel it was after midnight! Just enough time for a much needed nightcap.