Tue 5 Apr 2011 - Tue 5 Apr 2011
Imagine being at an amusement park waiting in line at the coolest ride. The line is a couple hundred feet long but it’s moving pretty fast. Now take away the roller coaster and instead plug in a big giant church in Paris. Now imagine that you enter this big giant impressive church and the entire middle section is roped off for a musical engagement that night so that the only available walking room is a 5 or 6 meter wide path that goes around the edge of the church. All those people flowing into the Notre Dame are squeezed into this one path like ocean water being pushed through the middle of two islands producing waves and fast water. Except that we’re not talking about efficient water moving quickly we are talking about slow people, all with their own idea of what they will do inside the church, where and what they will take pictures of, and where they want to walk. The funniest part of this whole thing is that the end of one of the routes is a dead end, and there are so many people crammed into this journey that you don’t really find out until you’re looking at the wall! Everyone sort of stops and looks around very confused that there is no way out of this grid lock. So…you simply turn around and walk back. You walk back realizing the rest of the crowd coming toward you is in for a real treat and you just keep going!
Don’t get me wrong, the stained glass was beautiful, the candles attractive, and the architecture magnificent but there is one thing about a church that we seemed to miss. Oh yeah, the quiet serenity! I couldn’t tell if I was in the Paris subway station waiting for the #1 train to come rolling down the tracks or in a church, it definitely felt much like the metro. Also, every so often one of the church staff would give out a loud “SSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH,” attempting to quiet every one down, and everyone would quiet down for about one minute and then get loud again! The reason for this shushing was because the mass was actually going while the tourists were coming in. Kind of silly for the two to be happening at the same time! For us the amusement park atmosphere and what this tourist attraction has turned into was a bit of a turn off in the end. Hope you have better chances if you go!