Paris in Smoke…

I remember the day well. April 15, 2019. I was in Paris. I heard fire engines and saw smoke in the distance. I was in Montparnasse at the time. South of the center. I could smell the smoke in the air   The news was everywhere. A fire in Notre Dame. An accident. I had been there in the morning to see some of our groups . I remembered all the moments I had stood in the square. Meeting teachers and students. Wandering into the cathedral to see the magnificent stained glass. Thankfully saved. That evening I walked down to the river. Notre dame was still smoldering but the fire was said to be under control. A gathering had taken place. The crowds sang patriotic songs. It was incredibly  moving.

Now , much of Notre dame will open in late 2024. In 2025 it will fully return.  But not quite the same. The spire has disappeared forever. But a new top will take its place. A year ago I went for a virtual tour of note dame. From the construction through completion   A time travel.  A virtual tour. We went high up to watch the stained glass being meticulously put in place. The stone masons carving the guardians of Notre dame. The gargoyles. It was a surreal experience. But now in 2024 we will see the real Notre dame back. Our lady. Over 860 years old. Over 9 million visitors. It’s good to have you back.

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