Paris, France Part 5

27 May 2011 - What a day I had today! I got up early and decided to take the bus instead of the metro since you can see more than way. I headed out towards Montmarte and it was so scenic driving by all the fancy apartments and upscale stores like Louis Vuitton and Cartier.

It was a great 25 minute ride on a clear day with lots of sunshine but luckily a bit cooler since it had been so hot the last couple of days. All the Parisians has sweaters and coats on while I had a short sleeved blouse and loving

Montmartre is the most charming area in all of Paris, it is an eyeful of quaintness brimming over with small old houses with flower boxes and cafes on every corner. They have a great cute stores with all kinds of pastries and cheeses and people are so colorful. You see old ladies walking with their small dogs, old men sitting at cafes arguing with their friends over an expresso. Lovers walk hand in hand up the many narrow cobbled-stoned streets. I just loved it. 

After walking a bit I made my way to the funiculaire that takes you up the hill to the magnificent Sacre Coeur cathedral. When you finally set eyes on this incredible structure all white against the blue sky it truly takes your breath away. The inside is glorious with intricate stained glass  windows hundreds of years old. It's an awesome sight to see the high ceilings with painted frescoes glowing in the lights of the thousands of candles lit by the faithful in offerings to their favorite saint. The silence is calming and you can't help but feel blessed to be alive in this serene place where millions have gone before you for hundreds of years. I bought a small but beautiful crucifix for my apartment as well as a tiny trifold icon. As I was leaving the church I saw a priest and asked him if he could bless my small treasures as well as the cross I was wearing and he smilingly oblidged and after he said, "Go in peace my child", a serene moment to be sure.

When I had walked around some more through small alleys with nooks and crannies I saw a small tram in the shape of a mini train and he was taking people down the hill back to the metro and busses. I thought this would be great fun and hopped on. This turned out to be fantastic as it took 40 minutes and was like a private sightseeing tour in itself, I loved it. While we drove around in this cute little train through the streets the driver played French music and it was wonderful to hear Edith Piaf singing while we took in the sights of Montmartre.

It was ironic to hear her sing as my next stop was to the famous "Pere Lachaise" cemetary to visit her grave. Everyone goes there to visit the grave of Jim Morrison from The Doors but my main reason was to go see the resting place of one of my favorite singers of all time.

I took a metro this time to the cemetary and was awestruck by the enormous tombstones of the families buried here. We are not talking just marble slabs here but huge mausoleum style structures for each person! I have never seem such a magnificent cemetary. You would think it would be gruesome to visit a cemetary but in this case it was like being in a medieval movie. It was now thew end of the day and the sky was covered over and it gave the area a pale grey look and with the crows flying everywhere it was mind-numbing. I found it to be so peaceful and calming, it was extremely quiet and the only sound of the wind blowing in the trees and the odd call from a crow.....incredible feeling.

I saw the grave of Chopin, Oscar Wilde and Rossini and finally I arrived at my main attraction, Edith Piaf. I gave a little prayer to her and reflected there a few minutes on the incredible talent that was no more. I finally bid her adieu and slowly strolled away misty-eyed as I hummed "La Vie En Rose" to myself walking down the hill.

I took the bus back home and picked up a few items for dinner as well as the best apple tart I had ever tasted. I took a short nap after all the walking I had done, with plans to go to the Arc de Triompe after dark to take some night shots of it.

It stays light until 10pm so I headed out on the bus around 10:30pm, so nice to see Paris by night. The lights seem to give out a pinkish glow. After 25 minutes through a scenic route I arrived at the Arc in all it's lit glory. I took the "money shot" as it's called and was quite happy so I headed back towards the apartment to reflect on my time here.

Once at the apartment it was already midnight and sadly it was time to pack up. When I was all done I sat on my balcony and stared at the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower for the last time. It was a great 5 days filled with history, great food, incredible sights and memories of cherished experiences. Paris I will miss you but I have a riverboat to go revoir until next time.    

1 comment:

  1. As usual a wonderful post, full of information.
    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to tomorrows.