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June 11th: Tom & Sue visit Chartres, France

Bon Jour:
Well, we leave tomorrow for Krakow, and today we decided to again make only one stop before going to our airport hotel and repack for Poland.
We survived the night without incident, although I did have to go down stairs around 3 to get a pill for my knee.  Susan woke hearing me climbing down the stairs “backwards” for safety and so that my feet would fit on the winding steps, so we sat up for a few minutes and went back to sleep.
The Cathedral of Chartes dominates the town
Breakfast at 8:00 and we were off to Chartres via the back roads of France. The ride was great and the sun was shining.  We parked in the underground lot near the Cathedral and walked the short distance to our destination which was under re-construction.
Some of the magnificent stained glass windows...the color knows as "Chartes Blue"
Some of the magnificent stained glass windows…the color knows as “Chartes Blue”
Susan and I both love these grand old places of worship but the worship has gone by the wayside as tourism has taken over.
There is no reverence shown by most of the visitors, who are only there to see and photograph the beautiful stained glass windows throughout the Cathedral.
After walking around the building, we finally found the entrance to the crypt area
After walking around the building, we finally found the entrance to the crypt area

We knew there was a Mass soon, and finally asked, knowing they wouldn’t have it in the main area.  We were directed to the crypt via outside and after walking totally around the building we found it.  The man at the door wouldn’t let us in because it was 15 minutes before mass.  That didn’t make sense, neither did arguing with him, so we patiently waited until a little old lady came and was immediately let in.

Entrance was strictly controlled
Entrance was strictly controlled

I think this guy thought we were just tourists, maybe because I had a camera around my neck, and just wanted picture.  Reluctantly he let us in and when mass started we saw him checking us out as we sat in the front seat of the crypt.  It was cold in there and we were glad we had brought a jacket which we put on quickly.  Mass was beautiful in this unique setting well below all the hustle and bustle of the upstairs.

The streets of ChartresWe decided to have a pizza at one of the local cafes and realized that we just fell into the tourist trap routine, but we didn’t care at this point.  The pizza was good and we left Chartres without having to worry about food, since we still had a rather large sandwich in the back seat.
We arrived at our hotel around 3:00 and spent the next 4 hours, after we emptied the car of everything, packing and re-packing.  We were only bringing one suitcase and there weight limits so decisions had to be made.  We checked out the weather and it is hot in Poland, so we packed light stuff and a heavier jacket and whatever else we need we will buy.
It will be nice not to have to worry about driving again until we get home which is only a week away.
Time for bed we will see you in Poland.
Au Revoir

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