The Reason for Coming to Paris

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Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris
April 14th 2016
Published: April 17th 2016
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Well we finally got up early for once, had breakfast and made our way to Montmare all before 10am! This metro has been the farthest station that we have travelled to and it takes us above ground. There are a lot of tourist shops along the walkway up to Sacre Coeur. When Bev, Ed & I were here the last time there were a number of con artists running a shell game. (Where there are three shells, or cards, or cups, and you pay to guess which card is the queen or which cup has the ball). This time there were just the usual tourist shops, nothing caught our eye so we continued up to Sacre Coeur. Mike didn't want to take the funicular (basically an elevator up the side of the hill) so we walked up. There is a curved area not he path and there were a number of black men accosting people as they tried to pass. They seemed to be selling bracelets, they were very aggressive, following us and even grabbing Mike's arm - he had to pull the guys hand off. We did make it past them and continued up the hill to the church. Close to the top we paused to take in the view. We looked at the city, Ed looked at the birds and we watched the sellers as they accosted others. Just then two Policemen on bikes rode up and all of the sellers scattered. Went and saw the church. It is a lovely church but there are so many impressive churches in Europe that after a while they all start to look the same. The crypt was closed for renovations, so we didn't get a chance to visit it.

Instead we continued towards the main artists square. It is hard not comparing our experience here this time to the last time we were here. I don't know if it was because of the time of year (April now, November then) or if it is just because it has been 5 years but the square was filled with more cafes than artists! We had a quick walk through the artists but there were a number of outdoor pavilions for the cafes that surrounded the square. Bev was looking for a striped Paris T-shirt so we continued along to a few more souvenir shops to try and find one. We did find one and as luck would have it right across from the shop was a café which sold chaud vin (hot wine - another thing we had last time in Paris).We sat outside at the Café Ambassador and had a nibble (croque monsouir, and crepes) to go along with the wine. After sating our hunger and going to the washroom we made our way back to the artists. Bev found some Paris mugs to buy on the way, but we were finally ready to fulfill the reason for coming to Paris. Mike getting a caricature, from an artist, in Montmare. Last time, when it was just Bev, Ed & I, we got caricatures from an artist there and had them framed. Mike was a little jealous and we promised that we would go back to Paris so that he could get one too. Since it was a different artist and style Bev decided to get another one done as well.

While Bev and Mike were getting their pictures done a Policeman came, grabbed a black plastic garbage bag from beside a tree and whipped it across the ground. The person who had been going around selling cardboard tubes to the tourists obviously wasn't supposed to and the policeman made him break all of the tubes in the bag while his partner wrote him up a ticket. After that exciting show we made one more lap around the sellers and Bev found a painting of Paris to buy. We walked down and around to Moulin Rouge, passing a place where Van Gogh lived with his brother briefly. Moulin Rouge from the outside anyway was not really that exciting. Walked down to a new metro station and took it back to our apartment.

Mike and I went to the patisserie shop and picked up some macrons, a lemon tart and a meringue for bit dessert. Mike stayed in the apartment while the rest of us went to the Père Lachaise Cemetery. We saw some interesting graves (none of famous people) and some interesting birds (a common chaffinch, and a great tit). Mom took some photos, and a video of a blackbird (which is like our robins and has a nice song). It started to rain though so we headed to the grocery store, picked up some fixings and went back to the apartment to have tacos. We spent the evening packing and are going to bed early because we need to catch the train to Köln (Cologne) early tomorrow.


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