Day Trip from Paris: Chartres, France, Part I

If you’ve heard of Chartres, you’ve most likely heard about it in the context of one famous building that lies in the center of town. The town of Chartres is a popular day trip from Paris because it is close (about an hour drive or via train) and it has one magnificent star-attraction that towers over the town: the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, or commonly referred to in English as the Chartres Cathedral.

You also must know if you've spent any amount of time in Europe that cathedrals and grand churches exist all throughout France and the rest of Europe. I’m at a point in my European travels that I have a bit of “cathedral fatigue.” I know, the three-years-ago-me would have rolled her eyes and be tempted to slap the present-me at even the thought of how that could be possible. Just think what she would do knowing that I admitted it. But the point is, after a while, one huge old church seems similar to the next and the novelty starts to wear off.

So hear me when I say that despite my church fatigue, Chartres Cathedral is something very special. Special enough to plan a weekend trip around it, even considering that we had seen this very cathedral three years ago.

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A Different Side of Prague

Travel has a way of teaching you things about yourself that might not have surfaced in a “normal” environment. It faces you with new situations, brings you out of your comfort zone, and expands what you know of the world.

Let's pause right there. Don’t worry if you’re not in the mood to read a heartfelt, emotional post. Because in Prague, I discovered something interesting about myself. I love modern statues.

Prague has a reputation for its Old World charm with the beautiful castle perched over the city and its romantic Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square). But there was something that resonated with me in discovering the more modern sculptures throughout the city. Perhaps it was just a reminder that Prague is more than the beautiful, old buildings but also very much alive and changing in the present. Whatever it was, I loved Prague the first time I went almost two years ago, and was reminded last month of just why it is one of my favorite places in Europe.

Let me show you the statues I found beyond the ones that line the Charles Bridge:

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Park it in Paris: Jardin Tino-Rossi

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

Sometimes it's those things that are right in front of you that are somehow not obvious at all. Like the pen I search for that's on the table in clear view, or worse, in my hand. Or a cool sculpture garden right along the Seine that I somehow don't quite notice until after two years of living in Paris.

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