Paris…Montmartre and Sacre Coeur

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I love Paris when it sizzles.—Cole Porter

Believe me Paris was sizzling this day, temperature-wise anyway.

We dedicated almost a full day to wandering through Montmartre, a beautiful section of Paris on a hill north of the city center.  Since we were staying in the south of the city center, in the 15th Arrondissement, it took about 45 minutes on the bus.  My wife had a few issues with riding underground crowded trains, so we stayed up top in the sunlight.  We enjoyed the bus ride since it allowed us to see more of the city.

We stopped for breakfast at Coquelicot, a wonderful little bakery and cafe on rue des Abesses.  We both had a chocolate au pain and I also ordered Quiche Lorraine and an Americano.  This was a delicious start to our day in Montmartre.

We headed up to Sacre Couer.

We climbed the many steps, that are quite lovely and enveloped in shadows in July.  The line was very long to enter Sacre Couer, so we stayed outside to enjoy the beautiful view of the city from this high hill above Paris.

We walked over to the other, lesser-known cathedral in Montmartre, Saint-Pierre de Montmartre.  This is one of the oldest churches in continuous use in Paris.  It was established in the third century by Saint Denis, who has a legendary story himself.  The current cathedral was finished in the 1800’s following many reconstructions, the final one after being destroyed in the French Revolution.  This smaller cathedral has a few intimate chapels with wonderfully colored stained glass windows.  In one of these small chapels, I stopped to pray and felt the wonderful presence of God’s Spirit.  One of those few times in my prayer life where I felt so close to the Creator.

We strode through the many street artists selling and painting portraits and the various shops atop Montmartre. We took in the views and the narrow, uncrowded alleys before we worked our way down the Street of Martyrs.  We stopped in at Henri le Roux chocolates and got a small assortment of tasty treats for later. A word to the wise here, if it is hot, as it was this day, eat your chocolates as soon as possible and don’t carry them with you.  Ours melted somewhat, though they were still just as delicious.

 

We ambled down toward the city center and found a nice outdoor table at A la Place St. Georges on the St. Georges square. My lovely wife had crepes and a chardonnay and I had a plate of assorted cheeses and breads and a really good red wine. We rested here in this lovely cafe for a while and decided to head back toward our hotel.

We disembarked our bus ride at the Trocadero, for the best view of the Eiffel Tower. We sat by the Seine before making the 30 minute walk along the Seine back to our hotel. It had been a very good day.

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Sacre Couer

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Gargoyle on Sacre Couer.

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A small, sunlit dome on Sacre Couer.

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One of the chapels of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre.

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Artists working in Montmartre.

The following are scenes in our wandering around Montmartre.

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Dutilleul passing through the wall.  Very cool.

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We ate outside at A la Place St. Georges.

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A really good view of  the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero. I assume these gates aren’t normally there. But they made a good foreground to this photo.