On the last day of our trip to Paris, as I had just exited a gift shop (somewhere around where this crooked window photo on the left was taken) ......I get a message from our Airbnb host,
"Hi Steve, I heard about the terrorist attack in front of Notre Dame. I hope you are fine. Any way I heard that only the terrorist was injured. Just try to avoid Notre Dame area because around that area I heard that everything is blocked..."
I can't say I was surprise. Alarmed, but not surprised. A lone, hammer-wielding man attacks police and is very quickly brought down.
Okay, so when returning to our rented place, we'll go around the area.
Then we realized, "What about the concert we had tickets for that same evening being held inside the gargoyle protected cathedral?"
On our way back to our "home" area across Point de Sully and over the tiny island of île Saint-Louis, back to the Latin Quarter, we passed police directed traffic jams. (Below)
Somber, overcast sky hangs over Notre Dame just hours after the incident. (Below)
Stopping at our favorite, La Methode Restaurant, we pondered our next adventure. Will the concert go on? Would the performers bow out? Our waitress, as well as an employee who just arrived, said they'd probably have the square in front of Notre Dame closed. I called Shakespeare & Company book store near the river Seine (a prior visit told me they spoke English) to have them tell me it looks like the area is open.
We decided to see for ourselves.
We were rewarded with an amazing experience. Under heavy security, the likes of which I have never seen before in person, all patrons were ushered into a side door. The concert, Ordo Virtutum by Hildegarde Von Bingen, would go on! (see below) (I filmed a short video excerpt of concert at very bottom of this post)
[Ordo Virtutum is about the struggle for a human soul, or Anima, between the Virtues and the Devil...] *Wikipedia .
With the cathedral's outside perimeter bathed in a halo of armed police, the vocalists on the altar, and vocalists entering from behind, it was as though angels were all around us!
Still trying to put this night into words, but I'll just say that I felt part of a world of peace-loving citizens who aren't about to let the evil in the world win out, because in the end, it doesn't!
Heading back to dessert (and a beer for me), we passed a welcomed line of vehicles manned by the men and women who deal with this on the front lines every day. (see below)
We were safe and I was so deeply moved by this, our last evening in the City of Light.