A Happy PersonSORRY, This was overlooked and should have been sent before the last blog published
On our way to the Canal cruise
The Saturday night knife attack happened about a 15 minute walk from where we are staying and across the street from the Garnier Opera House. The randomness of these attacks have to be unnerving, however, we were at the Sacre-Coeur Basillica the next day which was also close by and there were lots of people touring and enjoying the day. Security was certainly heightened with numerous army personnel patrolling the streets carrying automatic weapons. In a sense, the attacks might becoming a way of life in France as people carry on in spite of the threats.
We took a boat cruise up the Saint Martin Canal which showed us a different area in Paris. The 2 1/2 hour cruise started on the river Seine before shortly diverting into the mouth of the canal. There are 9 locks on the canal route and it finished in Montmatre. There were some interesting areas along the way such as the temple district which was reported to be where the Knights Templar started in the 12th century. Unfortunately we also saw, first hand, the magnitude of the
It was a cold and damp day so these people, mostly young men, must live in very difficult conditions. Surely France can do better than that?
refuge issue in France with hundreds of young men in tents along the canal. We disembarked and walked about 45 minutes through a neighbourhood that is obviously poorer, with the majority of people appearing to be immigrants. Our destination, the Basillica Sacre-Coeur sits on top of the hightest point in Paris and is an impressive building and a Catholic Church icon of it’s past wealth and influence. What a contrasting visual with only a few steps between the neighbourhoods!!!
Our touring continued the next day with the first stop at the Cathedral Notre Dame. It’s probably the world’s best known building of the Catholic Church, outside of the Vatican of course, and was completed in the 14th century. The stained glass window on the North side is enormous. It is also reputed to be the setting for Victor Hugo’s famous novel, the “Hunchback of Notre Dame. It certainly was impressive and worth the visit.
Across the street is the Conciergerier which gained it’s fame as a prison during the French Revolution and housed Marie Antoinette before she was executed. It was claimed that there were 30,000 Gendarmes escorting her to the execution!! About 1/2 hour walk, there is
View from Sacre-Coeur
It’s unusual to see many high rises in Paris but there are obviously a few as noticed on the horizons.
the Bastille which was also a key part of the French Revolution. Most of it was destroyed during the ”storming of the Bastille”and the only thing remaining is a tall tower as a rememberance of this integral time in French history.
We capped off the day with a stop at the George Pompidou Center of Modern Art. It certainly provided a lot contrast to what we saw at the Louvre and re-inforced the idea that art is very much an individual taste. This was an enormous building which also housed a library on the first 3 floors. For those who enjoy a lot of different dimensions to artistic endeavours, we can recommend a visit.
It was my birthday, so Debra took me to a very well regarded restaurant, The Brezch Cafe. It specializes in Crepes but I’m unsure it would be to everyone‘s tastes. When I was growing up, my Aunt Helen made them on a cast iron pan just as thin, but added butter and molasses, not goat cheese and egg!. We’ve had a couple of experiences with French Cuisine where the mixing of various ingredients seems unusual.
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