When we were in Paris in early May—before the height of the season—my husband waited in the long line to see the inside of Notre Dame while I took pictures of a couple getting their wedding photos taken.
It turned out the line looked longer than it was and after just a few minutes were able to go inside. It's no secret that Notre Dame is stunning and we both got our cameras out and started shooting before hunting down the passageway that led to the tower stairs. I'd climbed the tower stairs to the top on my last trip to Paris many many years earlier and while my husband isn't a huge fan of heights he agreed to do the climb with me. We went earlyish in the day so we weren't too wiped out from walking.
My recollection from the last time I'd been here—in 1989—was that there was a small arched entry near the back of the cathedral. We couldn't find it anywhere so we asked the woman manning the souvenir counter inside. What I didn't realize was that there was a whole different line—a really massive one—outside that led to stairway that climbed to the very top. We were told the wait was at least an hour. I don't remember it being that way back in 1989 but again, I'm reminded, it's not only me that's changed in 27 years. We decided to skip the climb this time around, it was cold and neither of us was keen to wait in an hour long line. Besides I'll always have this memory. You can't even get this close to the chimera now, the area is fenced off.