Friday, June 28, 2013

Paris Day 7

(Sitting on the steps of Sacré Coeur)

Day 7 of our trip to Paris was the only day it didn't rain, therefore making it one of our favorite! There were rare moments that day that we were actually able to take off our jackets and feel the warmness of the sun. Being from Miami, we crave the sunlight and were missing it in Paris. Funny thing is, we asked some of the locals we meet if it was normal for the weather to be rainy during May and they said that it is usually warm and dry and that we had bad luck! Oh well, maybe the weather will be nicer next time we visit.

(What an amazing view of Paris!)

We took full advantage of the sunny day by taking a trip up to Montmartre, the hill to the north of Paris where the white domed Basilica of the Sacré Coeur stands proudly offering stunning views of the city. We woke up early and took the Metro up to the artsy area.

Montmartre is best known as the bohemian area of Paris. Mrs. P likes to think she is a bit of a hippie (she's not) and was looking forward to a carefree day watching artists paint, drinking wine and looking for the former homes and studios of artists such as Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. 

(Waiting for the funicular)
(One of the many steps to take in Montmartre)

We started our day by taking the Montmartre funicular or cable cart up to the hill. If you prefer to walk up, you can take the very steep steps all the way to the top. We were stunned by the amazing view on the top of the hill and began to point out all of the places we had visited the days before. We are very thankful that the weather cooperated with us that day and allowed us to take in the breathtaking views.

While we enjoyed the scenery, we were also able to enjoy some unique entertainment from a soccer player named Iya Traoré. He regularly puts on an unbelievable acrobatic shows outside of the basilica that are not to be missed. It's amazing what he can do while swinging from a light pole and his soccer ball!

We entered the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos inside of the church, but we kinda broke the rule. We just wanted to share with you how beautiful this church is. We took it without flash of course!

Next stop was just a few steps away at the Place du Tertre, a plaza where artists gather to paint for tourists. There were all kinds of artists showing off their talents similar to how it must have been in the beginning of the 20th century where now-famous artists lined the square with their easels. 

(Cristy watching the artist (Michele) put the finishing touches)
(Do take a photo with the artist it's a great memory. Michael recognized the artist he had bought a painting from back in 2005)

("Joey in Paris")
We were tempted to buy something from each artist, but we decided to go with this original artwork made specifically for us. We named it "Joey in Paris." If you look closely, you could see our chihuahua Joey on the left side of the painting. Although he couldn't make the long trip with us and stayed at Mrs. P's parent's house, he was with us in spirit!

(Croque Monsieur, vanilla eclair and wine)

We found this really cute cafe (La Gallette Des Moulins located on 1 her rue Norvins)  near the plaza with a terrace overlooking the area and decided to take a break and have some wine and a snack. By that time, our feet needed a break too! 

After exploring the hill for about an hour and doing a little shopping, we happened to bump into the Musée de Montmartre. The museum was once Erik Satie's house. He was a French composer and pianist. 

We really enjoyed the small museum and got a fantastic view of  Clos Montmartre Vineyard which is the only vineyard in Paris. That was one of the things on our list to see, so we are glad we were able to see it from the house as opposed to getting an obstructed street view.

Another must-see on our list was the Lapin Agile Cabaret. This is just around the corner from the museum. This was once a meeting place for struggling artists of the 1900s.  It is still open and the shows are quite economical.

Also on that street was a quaint little restaurant called La Maison Rose. La Maison Rose is located on 2 rue Abreuvoir. The little pink house on a corner was depicted by Maurice Utrillo in a painting, making him a renowned painter in early 20th century Paris, called 'La Maison Rose à Montmartre.' It hangs in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

We decided to have lunch in this famous pink house. We started with some glasses of rosé wine. Mr. P had a tarragon chicken in a cream sauce and Mrs. P had a steak with a herb and butter pasta. The food was delicious and the weather was perfect to sit outdoors, take in the sunshine and people watch.

(Random artwork on a wall)

After lunch, we continued to explore the town and made our way towards the nightclub district because we had tickets to see the show Féerie in the Moulin Rouge

At that point, it began to rain, but luckily we were steps away from the theatre and were able check in our umbrellas and shopping bags. We had a great time at the show and were entertained from start to finish. The Moulin Rouge is a lot more than just topless women - it provides unexpected stunts such as a woman swimming with pythons! Overall, they put on a great show!

We wish we could have spent more than one day at Montmartre. We didn't get to see the cemetery, the cafe where Amélie was filmed and there were a few art studios we wanted to check out. I guess we got a little backtracked with the laid back atmosphere of the place! That's a good thing though. That is what vacation is all about! Check back with us tomorrow as we share day 8, our last day in Paris with you.

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