ARMCHAIR TRAVELS—CHARTRES, FRANCE

Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly. Enjoy Chartres…by Dominick Santise

The train ride from Paris to Chartres was spent with friends relishing our time in France. Watching out the window as Van Gogh-like hay bails dotted the French countryside, to this day I am still not sure if I was dreaming or if the vision dancing before me was in fact real.

Embarrassingly, I hadn’t expected much from my visit to France—for no good reason other than the moments in my life up to that point in time had never properly registered it on my radar. Maybe I subconsciously elevated it out of reach due to the long list of untouchable masters I admired who had walked the grounds all across the country, relegating any thought of a trip to a later in life agenda. Or maybe I was just as ignorant as I felt in that moment.

If Paris was an awakening, Chartres was a rebirth. Over the rooftops Chartres Cathedral seemed to float above the surrounding town and somehow in that scene before my eyes I understood how ancient philosophers could think the sun revolved around the earth.

As I slowly approached, hesitant to enter from awe, I felt as though I was standing at the center of the universe.

In one moment the towers reached for heaven as the steps secured its hold deep within the planet, a foundation for all humanity.

Time seemed to stand still in Chartres, the outside world came to it, but the outside world did not leave much of a mark. Those who made the pilgrimage had the impression etched upon them, forever changed.

One day altered and shaped all my days to come. By evening, I did not board the return train the same man who stepped off it earlier that morning. 

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