We took a train ride to Chartres, a town of about 40,000 about an hour from Paris by train. It's the home of one of the oldest and well preserved cathedrals in Europe - another Notre Dame Cathedral. It's at the top of the highest hill in town and has been here since the 12th century,
The doors to the church have statues of some of the important saints of the Catholic Church, and they have been recently cleaned of several centuries of grime. In fact they are in the midst of a restoration project for the whole cathedral which will be done in about five years.
After a tour of the church led by a long time student of the cathedral, we set out to see what a town - an old town - in France looks like. It's a river town and a town of flowered parks and old stone walls. Very pretty. Here the cathedral is mostly obscured by village buildings on the steep side hill.
The river is slow flowing and dammed in places to retain the water. There are large trees and flower gardens and picturesque old bridges.
There is even a bridge - Bridge of the Massacre - which commemorates a historical, I'd guess you could say, massacre.
It was a day which the weather guys said would be 75 and sunny, but was about 62 and cloudy until very late in the day. But it was a nice day to be alive in France.