My mom and I took the 350ish steep, stair trek to the top of Notre Dame about one week ago. That's weird to say. But we walked up to the bell tower and stood atop the enormous building with impeccable timing...not sure if we were supposed to be, but right before we left the Notre Dame spire and bells began to ring beneath us! With the glory and beauty seen and heard from walking up those stairs, it was well worth the breathlessness.
One of the most famous parts of Notre Dame are it's grotesque gargoyles. They function actually as drain pipes and to see and rub against as you walk along the narrow corridor in person was kind of mind-blowing to think of the history...
Looking at these gargoyles however, I realized that they were in amazing shape. Of course, they are made of solid, durable rock, but even so: they're outside ALL THE TIME. The changing weather and season over 900 years? And they still look good! Well...not good...grotesque. I mean they're not cute. But they're really cool.
So I started thinking, it's funny. We walked up the 350ish stairs that were incredibly WORN. And here are the exposed gargoyles atop the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, perfectly fine!
The stairs had actually be worn down so much they were CAVED in! There were little dips in them as you walked up which made climbing them that much more difficult.
So I came to the scientific conclusion that MAN is more erosive that our natural weather and environment. It's kind of sad really.
Seeing the stairs so worn by the force people step upon them with every single day compared to the mostly natural obstacles the gargoyles have to endure...they look better! I guess the sad part is that we take for granted that WE are much more impactful than the weather. All kinds of claims about the changing weather and how it's affecting us are made every day. But to see the sheer difference between the perfection of the gargoyles and the trash, worn down stairs, it was cool to think that the rock of the gargoyles could withstand the weather and erosion for 900 years. While by comparison, the human forces upon the stairs was much more influential.
It just goes to show with a little bit of force and erosion fzx what strong impact WE have on the things around us and how we should probably stop blaming natural causes.
Of course, this was bound to happen, Notre Dame is unbelievably tourist-y, it can't be prevented! But just for a little pep-talk about the rest of the environment: we need to start taking responsibility for our actions, all of them; and we need to stop taking advantage of and walking all over things(;