GES067 - St. Sulpice Church, Paris
After getting busted on some new building overlooking a river, it was back across town to something that GE099 was excited and more secretive than normal about. When travelling around with GE099, you get the feeling he has a little GPS map of Paris floating around in his head with pretty much anything that's explorable or could be explorable on it. He won't tell you what's on it, but furtively leads you off into the adventure land that is Paris, his city.
GE005 and myself dutifully followed GE099 as he swapped from trams to metro trains to flying unicorns. OK, maybe not the latter. Eventually we ended up at the target, which turned out to be a large church. But it was too early, so we dived into a cool looking bar/restaurant and grabbed a table. The restaurant area was smallish, and had an angled long mirror around below the top of the room. I was able to ogle a lovely fulsome breasted young female across the room with complete discretion. Only the drool forming on the side of my mouth being a giveaway clue. Beer & burgers gulfed down, and some rather nice chocolate dessert, and we were nicely stuffed. The Church from the front during the day.
And the side
We waddled our bloated bodies back to the ch urch, the second highest in Paris. As seen at night.
All seemed good, so we went for it. The access was a little tricky, but in the shadows of the church structure, we were in no need to hurry. Onto the scaff stairs, and it was around and around and around...until we reached the top. We stopped for a bit, but it was just some French studenty looking youth enjoying the view from the roof, and the Southern Tower. They were smoking some rather weak waccy baccy, probably a good thing.
This is the Northern Tower, in better shape than the Southern. Sadly neither had access to the top of the roof turret at the time of visiting. Although previously this tower had scaff up to the top.
It's amazing the weight the church could carry, and the scaff platform laid out with countless very heavy looking bits of church structure. My good self admiring the view from one of the said heavy bits.
A crawl around the scaff platform and leap of faith under the crumbling Southern Tower entrance, and I was in the Southern Tower. I checked a couple of doors for a possible way up, but no joy. Some odd shadows being cast against the sky, and the Tour Montparnasse skyscaper.
I didn't get very long, but the moon went behind the top of Tour Montparnasse, creating an interesting view.
It being past 1am, the Eiffel Tower sat in sleep mode, like a parrot in it's covered cage.
A closer shot of the Tour Montparnasse.
I wanted to get some shots from the far end of the church looking back to where we were. I set off along a slightly precarious path that sits on the ridge of the main nave. GE005 uttered some very un-ladylike words, and I decided as I was a guest to agree with her, and came back. Willy waving grandeur thwarted.
Instead, GE005 set off down the side of the main roof to some slightly precarious looking steps down to the gulley that runs at the bottom of the main roof. I looked at the brightly lit room below the floor i'd been stood on earlier, and was trying to work out what was inside. It took a good half hour before I realised I was looking straight through the tower, D'oh!
From here we went into the roof. I thought like most English cathedrals, the roof would be the top of the building that you see arching above you when you're in church. But this church had a walkthrough roof space, with huge 350 year old timbers, there since the 17th Century. I was massively impressed. I imagined medieval stonemasons wandering back and forth across here in their period attire.
I wondered off for a natural break (you can't beat desecrating a Catholic Church, scumbags that they are), and assumed the other two wouldn't be too far behind, but they had popped out another door in the roof, and were stargazing.
Notre Dame sits in the centre of the photo above on the horizon. Photo in the bag, we kicked back and relax. Well, as much as you can do on a roof edge with a shear drop at your feet. GE099 took it in his stride though.
And GE005 set about getting more great shots from her point and shoot.
Wandering here and there, we came to another set of stairs that lead to the lower section of roof. I was rather impressed by all the 'secret' (well, how often do people walk around them?!) passages the church held.I took a shot while the others walk off around the roof.
Behind the supports were cut-outs for a walkway, and we ended up in the corner below where we'd sat earlier.
It was then the trip back down, with a quick pose by some statues on the church equivalent of the first floor.
We dropped down and scuttled off into the night, keeping an eye on the cop shop opposite. We were all really tired, and could carely keep our eyes open on the train. I did my best to stay awake to avoid LSS (Last Stop Syndrome - falling asleep and waking up at the last stop). While GE005 slept, GE099 did some disturbing sleep head-banging. It wouldn't have been so bad, but he snored in similar rhythm.
Merci beaucoup to GE005 and the great wondeful magnifico GE099, as always.