Out of Paris, for the day

A few friends and I spent last Sunday in Rouen, a city in Normandy about an hour and a half north of Paris. Our train arrived in Rouen at around 10:30 am; in a race against time (ha, as if. The city was small enough to finish by the end of the day), the six of us explored the city’s central area. It's a small city-- quiet given it was a Sunday, yet a city with a distinctive character reflective of its Norman influence.

Between a photo opp at the town’s central clock and a visit to the place that Joan of Arc was burnt, to spending a few hours in the city’s main art gallery and, of course, the necessary stop at a boulangerie for breakfast and cafĂ© for tea, it was our morning visit to the Cathedrale Notre- Dame that, for me, stood out the most.

It’s this cathedral that Monet paints in his analysis of light's effect on color. It was unbelievable to be standing in front of the structure made famous by an artist who painted it over a hundred years ago—a structure that is still standing and still serving the same purpose as it did during Monet's time. I've known of this church since 12th grade Art History class and so there I stood, at the base of the cathedral, captivated by a church I had, before, only seen on canvas hung in galleries across the states.

Our train left Rouen at 7 that evening, and I was back home by 10 pm. Sort of as if we had never actually set foot out of Paris.

The Cathedrale Notre- Dame
Reflection of the cathedral in the store's window directly opposite.

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