France: Day 19, Chartres + Paris

Last day.

There was much left to do and see, but that’s all for another time.


Chartres view

Overlooking Chartres.

hanging animals

Pheasants and a boar hang from a butcher’s window.

church restoration


1887 sign


Chartres bridge




wall statue

Embedded in a wall.

restaurant on water

A restaurant on the water.

For lunch we sat at a wonderful brasserie, filled with geriatric old ladies slowly enjoying their afternoon meal.

bavette grillee, sauce vin rouge

Bavette grillée, sauce vin rouge. Yummy.

oeuf a la neige aux pralines

Oeuf à la neige aux pralines, or snow eggs with pralines. This was the most amazing thing I ate in the entire trip. The eggs were a smooth meringue, floating in a pool of creamy custard. As delicious as it was light.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres

Arguably the most well-known part of Chartres is the cathedral, seen by many as the pinnacle of Gothic architecture. It even gave the world a new colour, Chartres Blue, from the deep, intense blue found in much of the stained glass.

Chartres Cathedral - main hall

The main hall.

Chartres labyrinth model

Underneath all the seats in the main hall is a labyrinth used for pilgrimages, and once a month, the chairs are removed so devout Christians can slowly walk the path while praying. This is the scale model.

standing on labyrinth

Standing on the labyrinth path.

patron praying


Chartres Cathedral - stained glass detail

The stained glass was spared in both world wars due to a decision to remove it piece-by-piece.

Chartres Cathedral - choir screen

The choir screen is made of 40 niches, each one containing an intricate sculpture of scenes from the life of Madonna and Christ. If you didn’t know how to read, this is one way you could learn the stories of the bible.

Chartres Cathedral - choir screen detail


Chartres Cathedral - garden

The cathedral garden.

Chartres Cathedral - pillar sculpture


sundial statue



As we drove into Paris, Fédéric said, “Now we go see my mistress”. He lived there for 18 years, so he knows all the streets and landmarks. It was my only night in Paris, and a damp one at that. The pouring rain made it nearly impossible to operate my camera.

I lugged my huge tripod for the trip, and it was finally worth it to get these night shots.

Eiffel Tower 1


Eiffel Tower 2


Eiffel Tower 3


Eiffel Tower 4


Arc de Tromphe

Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile.

Luxor Obelisk

Luxor Obelisk in Place de la Concorde.

Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

Paris street


Galeries Lafayette

At Galeries Lafayette, a huge department store, the window displays are all changed to animatronic puppets for the Christmas season.

Europe 2010 travel diaries


  1. Gosh I love all the colours, has that rustic feel. Are you doing anything differently? Or is that actually how it looks? My coworker showed me how to play with the raw settings in the new Bridge for CS5. My project this year is to finally go through and edit my photos now that they’re sorted. Although I do need a PC first….but boy do I want your camera :P

    • I do both adjustment when rendering the photos from RAW and post-processing in Photoshop. Even the best photographers I know will use both to get the shot they want. You’ll be glad you started learning RAW, there are so many advantages!

      Do you not have a computer at all, or do you mean you need a PC vs a Mac?

  2. I don’t have a PC, kind of spilled water on my last personal laptop so that was fried. I have a netbook and a work laptop, neither of which will let me run Photoshop :p I’m working on building a PC eventually though, just kind of waiting.

    • Holy crap! I don’t think I’d survive a day without my computer that could run Photoshop.

  3. Thank you SO much for these pictures; I’ve been fed a lot of art history on this site, but never its actual feeling and lighting/mood. They always talk about it, the blue light, but I’ve never seen it.

    This is first on my list of places when I return.

    • My pictures don’t do it justice…you’ll be stunned when you’re actually there.

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