Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Five days in Paris

We arrived in Paris after dark.  It was almost midnight.  This was the first time we had to navigate through a city for the first time after dark.  I'll be honest, I was a little nervous but Matthew is such a confident traveler, he knew right where to go.  This was also the first time we didn't know where we would stay until shortly before we arrived.  At the last minute, we heard back from our hosts - friends of Matthew's Scotland friend - that we were welcome to stay with them.  Jo, who lives in a flat right near a metro stop in Paris, and her boyfriend Paul who lives in the next flat.  We were to stay with Paul in an extra room.  After successfully navigating our way through Paris, it took a minute to find the flat to meet our new friends.

We liked him as soon as we met him.  Paul's Scottish accent sounded a little out of place in Paris and we learned that he had just moved there two weeks before.  As soon as we met him, it felt to me as if we had all been friends for years. In the morning, we chatted as he gave us a list of a few helpful French words while we enjoyed the fresh baked French bread and chocolate croissant.  It was great to meet Jo that day as well.  I loved listening to the intonation of her voice rise and fall as she spoke English with her French accent.

We spent five days in Paris.  Matthew and I were wishing we had a pedometer to see how far we have walked during this trip around the world.  Paris was definitely one place where we walked, and walked, and walked some more.  The city seems to go on forever with endless streets to explore.  Among our favorite sites to see was Notre Dame.  We have been in many cathedrals as we have toured Europe but there was something about this place - maybe the stained glass windows or the tall ceiling, I don't know because the other cathedrals had those things too - but something about that place just made my heart want to worship.  As we left to explore other parts of the city, I kept finding myself singing softly with a smile on my face and peace in my heart.

Matthew and I also went on a quest through the Musee d'Orsay - an art museum that contains a very special painting.  Our very dear friends in Colorado, Mark and Peg, had given us the name of a painting in this museum that upon seeing it, changed their lives.  We found it.  It was incredible.  If you want to know what it looked like, you can ask us about that next time you see us too.

Paul and Jo took us to their church, an American church plant but the service was in French.  We thought back to our German church experience as we again found ourselves hearing songs we know in another foreign language.  The amazing thing was that the sermon was based on the exact same verse that the German pastor spoke on, and the two messages were strikingly similar.  So cool that God can speak to our hearts a message in two completely different countries with completely different languages.

Some other highlights of Paris - seeing the Eiffel tower at night, trying to find friend's recommendations throughout the city, listening to live music while overlooking the city on the steps of Sacre Cour (a church on a hill where there has been someone praying 24 hours a day for the past 120 years!), and Paul and Jo treating us to a delicious crepe dinner while we talked for hours.

Our five days in Paris flew by and the next destination on our journey...Spain.

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