Saturday, March 15, 2008

From Hill to Island

On our third morning in the Paris, we boarded the metro and took off for the sacred hill. With clear skies we were allowed to truly be in awe of how beautiful la Basilique du Sacre Couer de Montmartre. Pictures cannot capture how breath-taking the basilica and the view are.

From atop the hill after leaving the metro station.

After climbing the first set of stairs, which in comparison to the second set are nothing. Had we done this on day one it would not have been bad at all; after two full days of walking and climbing and walking some more, the stairs were a bit more daunting.
Sorry! No cameras allowed in the basilica!

Place du Tertre. I regret not buying anything here. I found so many wonderful things, but the thought of carrying them around with me for the rest of the day did not sound appealing. Had we stayed in Paris and not at DLP (in the city next time, definitely) I would have most likely purchased something and then only had to lug it around Montmartre.

More sandwiches! This time Mom enjoyed brie and tomato, I believe I had yet another ham and provolone.

If we were truly cool, we would have bought the bottle of Absinthe on display in the window. Since I am not a drinker, and Mom enjoys only a handful of girly drinks a year, we opted not to spend the money; but we needed a picture! Also, seeing Absinthe reminded me of the Green Fairy from Moulin Rouge-the movie, and I became even more excited as we headed down to check it out for ourselves.

And here we are! It was completely different than I had imagined; but since I only had a cinema-level education, that should come as no surprise.

We did not see a show, but next time I would be interested in checking it out.

We did enjoy the paintings in the entry, though.

And to tell you that Yes! this is an official tourist stop, a helpful sign!

View from across the street. I'm next to the sign. Moulin Rouge is in D's Top Ten for movies, so I thought I should let his see the real life place in pictures.

And again, this is nothing like what I imagined, but I really knew nothing about this tourist attraction before we got there. I didn't expect that it would be on such a busy street.
I must also note that as you look down the street, at the next intersection on the left, there is a bakery that makes the most wonderful almond pastries. I regret that I did not take note of the name or snap a photo to help future travellers, but seriously, awesome pastries. Every once in awhile I get a hankering for an almond pastry and after much trial and error of local shoppes, I discovered that Bread & Chocolate makes a decent representation of the real deal. It's a jaunt across town, but when the craving strikes at least it satisfies.

After a bit of a train ride back into the city and some more walking around as the metro did not stop at Cite as it said it would, we finally reached our (supposed) final destination of the day: Notre Dame de Paris.

Mom stood on Point Zero (the center of Paris) to ensure that she would return, and although there is not photographic evidence--I did the same. There will be a next time.

On the side of Notre Dame, a great photo-op minus the crowds.

Ahhh, French Gothic architecture.

As we walked around Ile de la Cite a bit more, we came upon a highly recommended ice cream shoppe. Berthillon is one of the best ice creams in Paris, or so I've been told by previous visitors and travel guides. It is sold in many restaurants, but I believe this is the original store (I could be completely wrong on this, though). I had a caramel ice cream cone, it was OK. I'm not much of an ice cream person and it was too rich for me. My mom enjoyed praline, chocolate and some-kind-of-nut ice cream very much.

After our late afternoon sugar pick-me-up, we continued walking around aimlessly. We eventually saw tourist signs pointing us toward the Pantheon. The grounds were closed when we arrived in preparation for...

A Garden for Life, A Daffodil for Curie
My quick internet search did not return results, but it was an event happening the next few days after our evening visit.

And many pools of daffodils lined the grounds.
Tomorrow: Museum Day!

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