• Day48

    Notre Dame - we are safe just barely

    June 6, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    After a lovely reunion with my second cousin Laura, Nancy and their daughter Ari at Montmartre, we returned to the Left Bank across from Notre Dame Cathedral​. As we entered the plaza in front of the cathedral, it began to sprinkle. Since we were just recovering from being drenched with a cool rain and small hail while walking down the steps from Sacre Coeur, I asked Dan if he wanted to enter the line to visit Notre Dame although we had been at that same spot yesterday taking the typical tourist photos and reading about the cathedral. He declined to go inside so we stopped momentarily to put on our rain gear. We cut through the waiting line and had just entered the street leading back to our apartment when we heard 2 gunshots. Looking over our shoulders, we saw hundreds of people either hit the ground or run in all directions, mainly toward us. Everyone was screaming in panic. Dan grabbed my hand and told me to run, but with my knee problem, all I could manage was a slightly faster shuffle. People ran past us like we were standing still while gendarmes were running the other direction back toward the cathedral and sirens were blaring all around us. Needless to say, we are thankful for the timing that allowed us to be 10 seconds away from a terrifying incident. From what we can read in French on TV, there was one assailant armed with a hammer and yelling "C'est pour Syria". Not sure if this made the news in the states but it seemed to be a major but brief event here in Paris in light of recent terrorist attacks in Europe. We are safe and glad to be returning home on Thursday.Read more