[PHOTOS] My Memories of Visiting the Notre Dame Last Fall
One of the highlights of my Europe trip last fall was visiting the Notre-Dame.
There have been certain tragedies over the years that I've felt at a personal level -- the death of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, the death of Youtube star and singer Christina Grimmie, the September 11th attacks. I'm not saying those tragedies are equal or comparable, simply that they affected me at a personal level. For various reasons, I felt invested in each tragedy -- I'd grown up on Linkin Park's music; I'd followed Christina Grimmie's career since her early Youtube days; 9/11 was an attack of unprecedented proportions close to home.
Monday's news that the Cathedral of Notre-Dame had been severely destroyed by a fire was another such tragedy that I felt personally.
My wife and I concluded an amazing trip of unbelievable memories and experiences last fall in Paris. After racing across the stunning landscapes of Iceland, bussing our way around Ireland and running our way through London, Paris was the one place we felt a sense of peace and calm. Paris really was -- we thought -- as romantic and quaint as we romanticized it to be.
We picnicked at the Eiffel Tower, had breakfast at outdoor cafes and shopped in cute Parisian boutiques. One of our favorite memories, though, was visiting the Notre-Dame de Paris. The history was tangible, the artwork breathtaking and the views stunning.
I'm deeply afraid of heights, but my wife convinced me to take an evening climb to the top of the cathedral with her. I'm so glad we did; it was one of the greatest highlights of the entire trip -- looking out in any direction, we could see the city of Paris stretch for miles and miles. It was incredible.
To think of such an iconic site ablaze -- and to see the photos for myself -- breaks my heart. Perhaps not as much as it breaks the hearts of the people who live in the City of Lights -- I won't pretend to be that personally affected or deeply moved -- but I commiserate with them.
I wish the French a speedy recovery. I wish them unity. I wish them hope.
And I hope I may get to see the Cathedral of Notre-Dame again myself one day standing bigger, better and more beautiful than ever.