05 June 2006


Last Wednesday we drove from Saint-Aignan to Paris via Chartres. We had tickets for an afternoon at Roland Garros, the stadium where the French Open tennis tournament is played -- we being Walt and I and our friends Sue and Cheryl.

La cathédrale de Chartres

Walt had ordered tickets for the tennis tournament last November, and we waited until April to know whether or not we had been lucky enough to acually get seats. When the tickets finally came, we learned we had been bumped from center court down to court number 1, which is the smallest of the three "show courts" at Roland Garros. But we had tickets and we hoped to see some good matches and some well-known players.

The Chartres cathedral's rose window from the outside

Meanwhile, we were looking forward to spending a few more days in Paris. Our last short trip was two months earlier. It's ironic -- now that we live in Saint-Aignan, we feel like we spend less time in Paris than we did when we lived in San Francisco.

Statuary on the front of the cathedral

In planning the drive to Paris, we decided to make a stop in Chartres, which is the site of the great cathedral and is about two hours by car north of Saint-Aignan. We hoped for a sunny day, because the stained-glass windows in the Cathédrale de Chartres are magnificent when the sun shines through them.

Stained glass at Chartres

As we drove north, sun and clouds alternated. The sunshine was brilliant at certain moments, but clouds covered the sun the majority of the time. We arrived in Chartres under clouds and ended up in heavy traffic on the main road into town. But when we arrived at the cathrdral, we found a parking space almost immediately, as a car pulled out of a space right in front of us.

Nice colors, but a definite lack of sharpness

We spent about 30 minutes inside the cathedral. The sun remained hidden, and when we went back outside it was raining and chilly. It felt like it might snow, actually. The rain showers last week were very cold, including some we sat through in the tennis stadium.

Looking skyward

My photos inside Chartres cathedral didn't come out clear and crisp, but I like their impressionistic quality and the colors are pretty.

Finally, here are two pictures from inside the cathedral that are a little sharper.

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