The Air Is Fine Up Here
The stairwell to reach the dome of Sacre Coeur winds tight and steep around a solid stone column. There is no central stairwell.. No windows to break the monotony. At any given point on the journey one can only see the few steps ahead and the few steps behind. Did I mention no windows? No windows to catch a glimpse of the outside world, nor fresh air to fill the lungs when the panic attack hits you about half way up.. Well at least that is my story and I'm sticking to it...
This was the site of panic attack #2 of my five week european vacation.. Another complete surprise to find I was claustrophobic and conveniently determined about half way up the 350 odd stairs it takes to reach the top.. In fact I'm still not sure if it was claustrophobia or simply a physical reaction to being out of breath in a dark airless cavity, no sight of top or bottom, no knowledge of how much longer I will be captive within this endless climb, walls closing in tighter and tighter with each laboured step.... [Let Me OUT!!!!]
I try to take a deep breath but my heart is pounding too fast... Fresh air .. I need fresh air... How much further? I stop to listen for the footfalls of the person I know to be ahead of me.. At first all I can hear is my own heart thumping loudly in my chest., but then.. YES!! I can hear them.. Tap tap tap and then mercifully.. The slam of a door... The top... The top must be near.. I push on and up and finally swing open the door to my freedom.. My lungs thank me for my perseverance .. My eyes thank me for the feast laid out in front.. A view of all of Paris from the highest point in the city! Thank goodness I was ignorant of my phobia or I might not have attempted the climb ...The reward was worth the torture!!
Have A Great Week
Thanks for the well wishes.. Seems I had a touch of food poisoning but all's fine now
I have more shots of the fabulous view from Sacre Coeur which I'll bring you in another post!
What You've Missed So Far
IMAGE SOURCE & CREDITS:
ALL Text, Original Photography & Artwork [copyright beingRuby©]
ALL shots taken in Paris, France ... August 2011