Monday, July 13, 2015

Paris Day 3- Mont Martre Tour!

Hey Guys,

Continuing with our Paris anniversary trip re-cap, we spent Day 3 in Mont Martre.  This artsy neighborhood is perched on top of a hill, providing AMAZING views of the rest of Paris.  I remember it being one of my favorite parts of Paris when I went after my high school graduation, so I was really looking forward to visiting it again, and it did not disappoint!

This was the first day that we ventured into the Paris Metro system  It's actually quite wonderful.  Even without speaking much of the language, it was easy to use, punctual, inexpensive, bright, clean, and felt very safe. 

Here's the amazing tile work in the St. Agustin station of the Metro system.  Like a lot of the older stops, it has white subway tiles, blue and white tiled station name signs, and ornate, gilded "frames" for advertisements, which somehow seem infinitely classier by virtue of their surroundings!

The buildings in Mont Martre were all very charming.  This photo was of a bakery with the most amazing looking goodies in the windows.  I don't know why I didn't take a picture of it, but behind me when I took this picture was Picasso's art studio, maybe because it was just a squat little locked building.  There wasn't a museum or an existing art studio to visit or anything.  Hubby was super excited to visit Picasso's former digs, though!

Here's an interior shot of one of several historic churches we visited in the area.  Although neither of us are religious, Hubby and I have gotten into the habit of checking out old church buildings whenever we venture somewhere new.  In addition to fantastic architecture, they tend to offer a great deal of insight into local culture and history.

Scooters and winding, narrow streets- Mont Martre (and pretty much the rest of Paris, too) at its best!  Despite the graffiti, Paris felt a lot less sketchy than when I was here in the early 2000's.  I don't know how much of that is Paris actually cleaning up its act and how much of it is my being more of a grownup than last time, but I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable at any point on this trip, which I cannot say about my first trip here.

One of several windmills in Mont Martre.  This one sits on top of a now-closed restaurant. 

The view of Paris from the steps of the Mont Martre Basilica.  We were able to spot Napoleon's Tomb but the Eiffel Tower isn't visible from here, being very far to the right of the view.

The Basilica of the Sacre-Coeur, built on the summit of Mont Martre.  Its iconic white domes are one of the most famous landmarks in Mont Martre.  Although we went inside, there were no photographs allowed. 

Here was the most unusual stop of our day- the cemetery of Mont Martre.  We bought a guide book in Germany before we took our trip, and it recommended this as a place to visit in Mont Martre.  I would have never have thought of it on my own, but it was incredibly interesting.  Some of the oldest crypts looked like tiny churches and many of them were unbelievable ornate, with pillars, porches, tiled roofs, and stained glass windows.  Many of them were lovingly cared for by newer generations of the families they represented, especially in the newer section, but others had been utterly forgotten, left alone to the mercy of time and looters.

This one was probably the most beautiful to me, the tomb of the singer Dalida.  She was quite famous in France, although I hadn't heard of her before our visit to the cemetery.  If you are interested, you can find her performances on YouTube.

One of the more ornate structures that we found in the cemetery.  Also, note that its a big enough place to require tiny street signs to prevent you from getting lost!

Day Three was another hot and humid day!  After the cemetery we retreated to a nearby cafĂ© for lemonade and water before walking to another of Mont Martre's most famous sites...
The Moulin Rouge!
In addition to being immortalized by Nicole Kidman, this dance club is where the Can-Can was created and is still performed nightly.

The Moulin Rouge is Mont Martre's most famous dance hall, and tickets were more that we were willing to spend, but it was still fun to walk by such a famous building and gawk at the outside!
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Stay stylish, my lovelies!


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