Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Paris day 4: Charming!

Outside of the Sacre Coeur, a fine view of the city
Chris has spent quite a bit of time in Paris, so he knew some interesting places to go. We started today going to Sacre Coeur church up a hill with a fine view of the city. We walked quietly around inside of the church. A service was going on; the sign said that there has been prayer going on in the church non-stop for 125 years. We looped around the outside, and I couldn’t help but marvel at the rows of vending machines where you could buy souvenir medallions and the two gift shops inside the church (“My parents went to Sacre Coeur and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt”). You could also increase your chances of your prayer being heard by buying candles in 1 euro, 3 euro or diety attention-grabbing 10 euro sizes. The church was lovely, but the commercialism was a bit much.

Inside of the Sacre Coeur... gift shops and souvenir vending machines
Outside the church little trains would take you to Montmartre, a shopping and cafe district, but we walked instead. While Pam and Anna went shopping, the rest of sat in a cafe drinking cola and beer and wine while sketching in our books. At one point, an old artist with his art case walked up to us, glanced at our sketchbooks, and left with a smile on his face. I hope he was smiling because he was pleased that we were drawing, and not smiling because our pictures were so bad!

On the other side of the court, rows and rows of artists were set up, selling art or sketching portraits. Their portraits were amazing and impressive. A paper cutter quickly snipped out an unsolicited portrait of Anna that was very cute; Pam offered him 2 euros for it but he insisted on 15. We politely declined.

We then wandered through the streets, and this was the real Paris we were looking for. Charming alleys, gardens, parks. Beautiful atmosphere. Chris suggested we eat at a brasserie, where one can find real French food for a reasonable price. So we stopped for lunch at a brasserie called “Pari’s Cafe” and had an exceptional lunch for a reasonable cost. The waiter was wonderful and enjoyed playing with the kids.

After a while, we found ourselves in Pigalle and poked around in some shops, reaching the famous Moulin Rogue just at dusk.

We were all pretty tired now, so back to the apartment for pizza and Doctor Who episodes.

A vineyard in the middle of the city
The Agile Rabbit

Peter found a new brother at the brasserie

Towers of macaroons... mmmmm!
Picture of a famous thing

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