Having dropped off 13,000 words of something in my supervisor’s pidge in lieu of a rough draft (more-or-less a prose version of my notes which I hope to shape into an actual argument at some later point in time), I packed my bag and headed off to St Pancras to take the Eurostar south for a much needed break in sunnier climes.
(Aside: besides the novelty of taking the train to somewhere separated from your current location by a large body of water, the sheer ease of embarking by rail beats a crowded airport and a budget airline any day of the week!)
We spent most of the trip in south-west France, driving through golden countryside out of a Van Gogh painting, complete with fields of sunflowers. We also passed through some lovely cities on the way down from and back up to Paris, including Chartres, Poitiers, and Orléans, admiring plenty of medieval cathedrals and Renaissance châteaux along the way!
We spent the last couple days in Paris, and in honour of the protagonist of my dissertation, Louis IX, I went to visit the chapel he built on the Ile-de-la-Cité, Sainte-Chapelle, with its stunning, if overwhelming, stained glass windows.
We also visited the Musée de Cluny, a really lovely museum of medieval art, which amongst other things features original stained glass windows, architectural columns, statues, armour, and the famous La Dame et La Licorne (The Lady and the Unicorn) tapestries.
And just one more picture, because every trip to Paris has to have one: