We followed the signs to the cathedral (I'll probably have another post about navigating by sign in France) and drove around until we found a parking spot. We were struggling with the machine to pay for parking when a nice French woman walking by informed us that we did not have to pay around lunch time which is when we had arrived. Score!
We walked along a small river past some of the most picturesque houses I've seen. We finally came to a bridge and crossed over the river where we took a few pictures:
Nathan on the bridge to the old town in Chartres
A pond viewed from the bridge
Another view of the river
Once we crossed the bridge, we were into old Chartres proper. I have no idea how old the buildings were, but I can't imagine that some of them weren't at least 300 years old. Here is one that I liked a lot:
A nifty house in Chartres
This building appeared to be someone's house. I know this because I took a peek into one of the windows and saw some guy watching television!
Here are a few other photos of the old town of Chartres: In the first one, they took a super awesome old building and made it into a laundromat. In the US, this building would have been on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
You've got to wash your clothes somewhere!
Apparently I like the Tudor style
After going up a big hill, we arrived at the cathedral itself. It was ginormous and unbelievably impressive.
This is the SIDE entrance for
crying out loud!
This was a nice chapel in the church
Lots of saints and others holding up
One of the actual front doors; they are
moving in supplies for a renovation
A view from below
For some reason, the two spires on the cathedral are completely different. I didn't ask why, but it is quite interesting to see.
Anyway, I could have taken a million more photos in Chartres, but I was not quite fully into tourist mode yet. I can say that both Nathan and I were pretty psyched. We knew that Chartres was certainly a great stop, but we had many, many more quaint villages, historic sites, and architectural wonders to see during our trip to France.