Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paris, day 3 - Montmartre

After a quick stop at the café at Les Invalides, we set off for Montmartre – the quarter of Paris where artists such as Picasso, Modigliani and Utrillo once lived. There were lots of steps up from the underground because Abbesses is Paris’s deepest Metro station, nearly 100 feet below ground.

Chloe and I couldn’t resist a crepe (the cinnamon one was lovely – and half the fun is watching them being made), while Chris chose a muffin and Gerry a baguette.

We took the funicular up to the Sacre-Coeur (which was built 1875-1914 in atonement for the 58,000 people killed in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and the 20,000 Communards massacred by government troops).
The views from here are pretty spectacular.

Gorgeous mosaic inside (poor pic as no flash).
Not so keen on the stained glass (though feel a little guilty saying that, as it replaced glass that was shattered during the Second World War). I did like the dome, though,
and the angel.

Then we wandered through the streets to the Place du Tertre where Django Reinhardt used to play (via a gelaterie) – full of eateries and artists, and we spotted one man juggling while balancing a glass jar on his head!
Also bought a lovely watercolour of Paris from one of the artists. There were lots of artists doing pastels of people. Chris refused flatly to have his pic drawn, but Chloe was taken by the idea. We met a very nice artist called Natale, and we all loved the picture he did of Chloe.

We headed down the stairs next to the funicular
and enjoyed the architecture
and a last look at the Sacre-Coeur before catching the Metro back to the Champs Elysées.
We stopped off at the Renault shop – this car was built in 1898.
We also learned that the shop has been there for 100 years – and that it was once the Renault pub, next door to the offices of Paris Match.

The shop opposite our hotel is La Maison du Chocolat – we bought some gianduja and Parisien macaroons (very rich – this shot of the macaroons is actually from La Durée, further down the Champs Elysées).

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