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Notre Dame (Paris, France)

Yesterday's tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral was an irretrievable loss. The destruction of the church's famous spire was particularly heart wrenching to watch. Thankfully, through the tireless efforts of firefighters and bystanders, the fire was contained, and the church's famous towers, stained glass windows, and several priceless artifacts managed to escape the blaze. My first visit to continental Europe began in Paris. Notre Dame was the very first sight I visited; I can remember it like it was yesterday. It had been the fulfillment of a dream to see this historic cathedral. I remember walking through the interior and looking up at the immense columns and soaring ceiling and feeling so small and insignificant in comparison to so much history. Then I climbed the stairs to the top to look out over the expanse of Paris, past the famous gargoyles, and I remember thinking it was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen. Notre Dame is where I fell in love with travel, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I have faith that it will be restored to its former splendor, and I'll get to take in this spectacular sight again someday soon.

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