Saint Chapelle

When one thinks of cathedrals in Paris, the two that most probably come to mind are Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur. On this visit to Paris, I visited one that is much smaller, much lesser-known, but arguably more magnificent. The Sainte Chapelle is literally a hidden jewel in Paris' long list of architectural marvels.

Sainte Chapelle (or Holy Chapel) was commissioned by Louis IX and consecrated in 1248.  Its most amazing feature is the Upper Chapel, with thousands of panels of stained glass illustrating more than 1,100 biblical scenes. Spoiler alert: if you plan to visit and don't want to spoil the surprise, DO NOT click on the "Read More" link, ignore the rest of this post and read another one!

Monet's Garden at Giverny

I have loved the works of Claude Monet ever since I was a teenager, and every time I have visited France I have wanted to take a trip to his home and garden at Giverny. But there always seemed to be too many other things to do, and too little time. Finally, finally I got the chance to visit this summer, and it was everything I had dreamed it to be. It was literally Monet's famous paintings come to life!