Friday, April 10, 2015

Paris Recap: Sacre Coeur and the Streets of Montmarte

Are you tired of hearing about Paris yet?

Yes?

Too bad, I'm nowhere near done.

Sorry (Not sorry).

Saturday morning, we ventured to the Galleries de Lafayette, which is a super fancy shopping center. How fancy? This fancy...


 It was at the shopping center that we got our first (and, likely only) taste of Angelina hot chocolate, which, basically sent us each into a sugar coma while immediately causing cavities in every tooth in our heads. Ok, not really, but, I'm not kidding when I say it was sweet.

Angelina was on my Paris Bucket List, and I was pleased to cross it off. Another item on my list was a visit to Sacre Coeur, a church located at the highest point overlooking the city. I had heard stories about the view from the church and was really looking forward to seeing it, so, once we had completed our shopping, we grabbed a cab and headed to Montmarte, where the church is located.

 The stories were true; the view of Paris from the steps of the church were amazing.


The church was equally beautiful, and, clearly draws an eclectic blend of people to the flight of stairs leading up to it; we saw the young, the old, bohemians, devout worshippers, street performers, tourists, locals, and everyone in between, just hanging out and enjoying the cool day. The energy of the crowd was amazing.


In contrast, the inside of the church was serene and reverent.







When we left the church, we decided to walk into town. I wanted an opportunity to photograph a less touristy-and more authentic- section of Paris and was hoping that I might get lucky in Montmarte. I was not disappointed.



 




In  a serendipitous turn of events, we happened to hit the neighborhood on one of only two days of the year that residents of the area set up tables on the streets for a thrift sale. We got an opportunity to browse through a lot of really interesting items and had an interesting conversation with an American ex-patriot from Connecticut, who had been living in Paris for a number of years; she gave us a lot of good tips for getting along during our visit.





We also hit the local shops, where we purchased wine, cheese, baguettes, fresh strawberries, and pastries to take back to the hotel for an evening snack. The wine, purchased in a small grocery, cost only a couple of euros but was easily one of the best wines that I have ever tasted. The French do not mess around when it comes to wine and cheese, my friends.





It was another really great day in Paris, which, I mean, really; are there ever really bad days in Paris?

That was a rhetorical question.

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