Our hotel Arcadie Montparnasse was .1 km from the Montparnasse train and metro station; problem was, our itinerary didn’t indicate in which direction once we exited the station. 

    So I entered the closest business and the receptionist pulled up the address on her Smartphone, and I copied down the street names and drew arrows.  And we headed off ... and none of the street names appeared on the signs.  But we turned the corner indicated and wandered a little more .... and got another set of uncertain directions from a pedestrian .... until our faces must’ve revealed our frustration and fatigue from dragging our luggage, and still another pedestrian inquired where we wanted to go.  We did kinda stand out like sore thumbs...weary travelers.

    Well, he knew exactly where our hotel was, gave us perfect directions, and we dragged ourselves up the 2 steps into the hotel lobby.  We easily wandered for 20-30 minutes.

    Imagine our reaction when the receptionist pointed out the window to the station -- ACROSS THE STREET!!  We had been sent in the opposite direction and had walked endless blocks all the way around the entire train station.  Well, after 3 days of using the station, we can now do the metro and the train blindfolded.  Line 4 got used the most, but I question if we WALKED more to just GET to it than we actually rode it.

One time using Line 4, I heard music I recognized and thought, “NO WAY can that be Americamanta, the Bolivian Andes flute band, whom I’ve run into in such uncommon places as the Lorain County Fair and the Prairie Peddler in Mohican Country.   Well, it was, and their leader, in the red top, even recognized me.  I bought their newest CD of relaxing music.  Their new business card claims a Paris address.  Go figure.

Above, our metro map/bible, and below, a short relief from walking on the way to Line 4.

Carmen Belcescu, one of the receptionists; we felt an instant connection, still emailing each other.  She’s Romanian.

Seems like most of Europe uses the rental bike approach to provide more public transportation.

When Napoleon destroyed the city in 1850 with the intent to rebuild it better (took 50 years), he decreed that all buildings could not be more than 7 stories and  must have a connecting balcony on the top floor, with the middle ones having balconies on all windows.

The west front central portal, depicting the Last Judgment. Top center, Christ displays his wounds, flanked by angels with the instruments of the Passion, spear & cross.  Virgin Mary on far left, St. John on right.

Directly underneath Christ is the Archangel Michael, weighing the souls with the Devil’s interference. Redeemed souls on the left, damned to the right.  Resurrection of the dead at the very bottom.

The left gate is known as The Portal of the Virgin. Above the door, visitors can see the three prophets on the left and three Old Testament kings on the right, holding phylacteries showing that God’s promise has been fulfilled; Jesus has come to save humanity.

 

Above that lies Mary on her death bed, surrounded by Jesus and the twelve Apostles. There is also two angels, lifting up her shroud and taking her to Heaven. The top depicts Mary in Heaven, crowned the Queen of Heaven by an angel while being blessed by Jesus.

The right gate, known as The Portal of St. Anne (the mother of the Virgin Mary), displays the story of the marriage of Joachim and Anne and the marriage of Mary and Joseph as well as scenes from Christ’s arrival on earth.

The three rose windows all date back to the 13th century.  Although they have received some restoration work during the years, the windows of today are very much true to what the windows looked like in the 13th century.

NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL

The Palace of Versailles