Leaving Paris might have been a sadder event had it not been for the way I left. On a train. A BULLET train. Specifically, the bullet train that goes from Paris to London. In TWO hours.
We spent our last day in Paris (for now) tromping through the gardens and visiting St. Sulpice. You may remember St. Sulpice as the church that Dan Brown (hack, hack -- what? I have a cough. HACK.) made famous in "The DaVinci Code."
I have a shy, slightly strained relationship with religion. It's a subject that requires more attention than I can give to a simple posting, but put plainly, I don't know how to relate to it. Yet, walking into this church, which by the way, was the first church that looked... authentic, threw me off. It was massive, of course, but it was also being utilized in the manner for which it was meant. People were PRAYING. For real.
There was a woman who was taking water from a particular saint's altar, most likely asking for help with her garden, because that was what the saint (I wish I could remember who it was) seemed to exist for. I kept thinking, "Why is she here instead of, well, TENDING to her garden? Wouldn't that make more sense?"
Europe is full of churches. I knew that when I signed up for this adventure. What I didn't know was how it would affect me. It scares me, but also reassures me that people have a guide, whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, VooDoo, or what-have-you.
After consulting all the guides I've gotten for traveling, it doesn't seem as strange now to see other people consulting their spiritual guides. After all, it's the best way to get where we want to get to.