To Montmartre or Not To?

Sacre Coure

The Montmartre is a very popular district or village of Paris.  When we told people about our upcoming trip to Paris, even Parisians told us we had to go to Montmartre, it was their favorite place.  It is well known for being home to painters, writers and musicians, both of past and present.  This is also where you will find Moulin Rouge and many of the cabaret shows.

The Montmartre is also know from some of the best views of Paris.  The Sacre-Coeur basilica stands high above Paris in bright white Souppes stone.  It is beautiful and impressive, with equally impressive views.

Looking back at Paris from Sacre-Coeur

Eiffel Tower from Sacre-Coeur

Now that is where the great news ends for us.  Getting to Sacre-Coeur was like going through a sea of pushy people, con-artists, thieves, street vendors, all while smelling a mix of garbage, coffee, baking sugar, urine, and roasted chestnuts that are more like the smell of smoldering cigarettes.  It literally felt like you were making yourself a welcomed target for robbery.  When Jon ignored a street vendor, the man pulled on Jon’s bag.  Then another vendor that I was ignoring, literally came up and tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention, which he still did not get.  So in picture form, here is our opinion of the Montmartre: 

We couldn’t wait to leave and get back to the heart of Paris, where we feel 100% safer!  So we metro-ed it back to Notre-Dame, picked up a baguette sandwich and a crepe and ate lunch in the park behind Notre-Dame.  We relaxed in the park, until we energetically felt re-balanced after our morning.  Then we headed down the Pont Neuf , which was on my list of things to do this trip, which despite it’s name “New Bridge” is the oldest bridge across the Seine river in Paris.

Pont Neuf

Eventually we walked back to the Jardin des Tuileries again, where we were practicing the Italian sweetness of doing nothing, il dolce far niente.  Park bench sitting, watching people go by, enjoying kids as they pushed wooden boats in the park fountain.  All the while pondering, if kids in the States would find pushing wooden boats as fun?  It seemed as if all of Paris was enjoying being outside, because everything was closed on the holiday.  And savoring a delicious “yule log” to bring prosperity and protection for the new year.  Yes the sweetness of doing nothing is quite sweet.

Chocolate yule log

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