Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Someday Cowgirl in Paris - Part Deux

Staying at a resort outside of Paris gave us a great opportunity to take road trips to neighboring towns.  We headed toward Provins, a medieval city, that our concierge suggested.  After driving about an hour through a beautiful countryside full of yellow flowering fields (we guessed these were mustard plants), we arrived in Provins.   
As soon as we entered the city, it was as if we had taken a step back in time - a huge step back to the 11th century.  This is when you start to understand how young the United States really is.  We were in a European town that was 900 years old - surreal. 

We squeezed our mid-sized SUV rental (small for our standards) into a spot, obviously intended for a smart car, and headed for a bite to eat and some shopping in the boutiques in lower Provins.
Since the French aren't big on lunch, this became a difficult task, as most of the cafes were closed and wouldn't be open until later in the evening. 
After a quick lunch of a creamy Croque Monsieur and a bit of wine at a small shop that sold ice cream and gourmet teas, we headed to upper Provins. 

Navigating our way through the town’s narrow streets, we marveled at the architecture of charming homes built long ago, watching our steps along the uneven cobblestones. 
Around the bend, we came across Caesar’s Tower, a castle and the symbol of Provins, that overlooks the city. 

It was lightly raining at this point and the skies were becoming more cloudy, so we stepped into a little museum.  Using the very small amount of French that I had learned in preparation for our trip, I politely asked the woman behind the counter if she spoke English.  With a very stern look on her face, she shook her head to the tempo of a firm no. 

We decided that we really didn't want to hang out in a museum anyway, so my husband and I huddled under our one small umbrella and continued up the hill.

At the top of the hill, stands a church - Saint Quiriace.  The church was constructed around 1200, but it was never fully completed due to lack of funds under the reign of Philip IV. 

Gazing up at the church's dome, I knew we were about to feel transported back in time upon entering.  The doves in the eaves were making eerie noises.  In many ways I found this church more incredible than Notre Dame - just the earthiness of it, like it was about to crumble around us.   

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