Europe 1987

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan 2018

Europe 1987

For breakfast this morning we heated up our own croissants.  Although this resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable breakfast, which included fresh coffee, it also resulted in a late start, and it was almost 10:00am when we finally left the Youth Hostel.  The weather was overcast and grey, but comfortable for travelling.

We drove through Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët and Domfront, stopping briefly in Domfront, before making a more extended stop on the outskirts of Alençon in a children’s playground by a lake to enjoy another lovely French-style lunch of baguette, pâté, cheese and orange juice (to which Di asks “where’s the wine?”).

We pressed on to Chartres, and immediately admired what is claimed to be France’s most glorious cathedral, Notre Dame de Chartres.  It is the third largest cathedral in Europe (only St Peter’s in Rome and Canterbury in the UK exceed it in size).  Although it was consecrated in 1260, its three western doorways and the associated sculptures were part of an earlier church dating from the mid-1100s.  The two towers of the cathedral are quite different, which is another factor making the cathedral unique.  The right tower is Gothic in style and dates from the mid-1200s, whereas the taller left spire was added in 1510.

We spent time inside the cathedral, admiring the architecture and stained-glass windows, marvelling at this sermon in stone that was built to declare God’s glory.  Following this, we drove to find the Youth Hostel (at 23 Avenue Neigre).  We managed to get a room for the night and once again cooked our own dinner, which was helpful in maintaining our budget.

The Youth Hostel was brilliantly located with an unobstructed view to the west of Chartres Cathedral sitting atop the hill of central Chartres.  After moving into our room, we decided to take a walk back to the old town, taking the old Pont des Minimes bridge over the Eure River on the way into town and back over the Pont Bouju and Porte Guillaume Chartres on Rue du Faubourg Guillaume as dusk approached.


Day 53

Pleine-Fougères to Chartres

Thursday 3 September 1987