Europa day 2


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Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris
May 14th 2012
Published: May 15th 2012
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Day 2

After a good sleep - even on hard bed - we got up, had a shower - good pressure and lots of hot water - next tick for the apartment and headed off for the bus again to do more of Paris that we had missed. Off to Montmatre.

First surprise was that we were right next door to a little supermarket. Fresh fruit, etc. 2 bananas and a bottle of water that wouldn't back the euro zone monetary market and we were off again.

One bus to the Place de la Madeleine then connect to the Montmatre bus to go see the Basilique Sacre-Coeur. Did the walk through of the St Madeleine cathedral met by the 1st beggar of the day at the gate. Amazing art work and supposedly the best acoustics around.

Meant to get off at the Moulin Rouge but missed that stop - red fronted with the dodgy looking windmill in the middle of lots of other plain buildings. Didn't miss much. Got to the stop for Sacre Coeur and fronted by a street full of Vic Market stalls and shops and people everywhere in your face - our first encounter with the gypsies.

The view of Sacre Coeure was stunning - real catholic church sitting on the highest ground with great views ofeverything bellow it. Started the climb up the stairs again accosted by gypsies trying to wrap cotton wrist bands - they understand some English - xxxx off......

Finally made it to the top and the view was even better than expected. Walked through the cathedral with even more stunning art work- no cameras allowed - lucky as the lens won't attach again....

Back down and got baguettes for lunc and sat on the grassy knoll to eat - more wrist warp rejections. While waiting for the baguettes we saw our first action - guy running down the busy street chased by 2 other dudes yelling to stop. Quickly followed by 2 police persons on bikes. Don't thcaught was caught as I reckon I recognized home coming back up the hill a while later as we were eating our lunch.

Decided to walk to Gare du Nord (main train station) to book tickets to our next stop (Amiens next Tuesday morning). Interesting walk - lots of African people - including the big dude on a balcony having a smoke on his reggies - not suroff it was advetising but he had a reasonablepackage too offer.......

Guwhat what - lost in this good area. Some re-reading of the map and street signs and we were back on track. Found the station and even worked out how to use their ticket machine to purchase the tickets we wanted.

Did the cafe thing and sat on the street to have crepes and beer/coffee. On the bus again and into the busy streets to get back to our next stop - the Arc de Triomphe. Walked up the Chaampes Elysses to the Arc. Passed lots of old diggers with medals and flags - no idea why they were out. Finally found out how to cross the road - go under it. This is one of the busiest intersections in France. Nothing like Vietnam but still like organized chaos.

Climbed to the top - lifts not working. Bit puffed but the view was great. Sacre Coeure stood out in the distance. All of a sudden we found found out about the diggers - big parade up the Champes Elysses to the Arc. Traffic wastopped and pedestrians not allowed to cross the street.

Finally told this happens every day at 1800. Chris got chatting to a real Parisian who filled her in on all the nes of how, why and every thing else about this process. After she took us in beside the tomb of the unknown soldier and we got ceremoniously marched out by a very officious man we finally said farewell - several times (nice lady but once shso collared on to our ears that was that).

By now it was closer to 2000 so we decided that food might be a good idea. Went to a bistro next door and had onion soup - why don't they call it French onion soup here - and then went back and had a quick look at the tower all lit up - no light show - maybe tomorrow night.

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