In retrospect, it should have been the obvious day to visit Notre-Dame. The guide book mentions the possibility of a free organ recital on Sundays at 5.
It hasn't clicked yet...
It's a church...it's Sunday...I get mass. Normally I'd go out of my way to avoid mass, but I end up staying for most of the service.
It's not a normal service. It's mass alright but with professional singers, Bach-like organist and an army of priests. People wander in and out and about and take photos. Nobody seems to mind. I suppose it's just not a normal church.
It is every bit as huge and impressive as you've heard. You get the feeling that the aprocryphal story of the German soldier charged with blowing it up in the second world war could almost be true. In a weird way, you wish it was...
The service is well over 90 minutes long but I end up staying for all of it, mostly because the organ is just fantasic. It takes a big instrument to fill this venue but when you see it it's easy to see that it does. However, hearing how it does is, of course, the point.
Truly glorious. It's almost enough to drive you to religion.