A Travellerspoint blog

A leisurely stroll through Montmartre...

Easter Monday and still a holiday here as well but I did manage to find some people today.

I decided after a lazy morning to brave the grey weather outside and wander through Montmartre. Before I left the apartment I read a couple of touristy notes about the area to familiarise myself with the main streets I wanted to wander...then headed out to see what treasures I could find.

I decided to avoid the Sacre-Coeur hilltops today and wander my way around the bottom streets...what a wonderful day it was!

I began by making my way through to rue des Absesses and as it was late morning and I hadn't had my usual morning croissant I opted for a sucre citron crepe....mmmmmmm mmmmm yummy!! I continued to wander popping in and out of interesting shops along the way and eventually the number of people around me started to increase, the shops looked more souvenir like in their wares and...yep... you guessed it...I had ended up at the bottom side of Sacre-Coeur with all the tourists, the hawkers and the shops full of cheap junk! I did a quick about face and headed off in another direction as quickily as I could! (I consider myself a traveller not a tourist this time around...he he!)

At abouT 1.30pm I stopped for lunch at a bistro that was very busy and had what sounded like a nice set lunch menu for 14 euro ($18). It wasn't too bad...a bowl of french onion soup. chicken breast done in a tarragon sauce with creamy mash followed by a chocolate mousse and coffee!

Needless to say I won't need dinner tonight!!

While I was in the restaurant I saw the most amazing meal...two young girls sat near me and ordered. The waitress brought a table heater for them...at first I thought they must be cold! hahaha But then she brought the largest quarter cut of a cheese round I have ever seen and placed it on a large spike under the heater and it proceeded to melt at their table! The waitress then brought what looked like a Ploughman's lunch plate for each of them as well. These two girls sat there eating for an hour and a half gradually melting the cheese so it dropped off onto their plate and then ate it with the meats and crusty bread etc. I was shocked that they could eat it all!!! Amazing!

Next I headed to rue Lepic which was listed as one of the good shopping streets...I wandered and came upon some wonderful sights that I now find are listed in all the guide books, but what an adventure it was to just "come upon" them as I was wandering...truly delightful!

There was the statue of the "Man in the wall"...it was done by a local actor turned artist about the story of a man who developed a formula to make himslf invisible and able to go through walls. He didn't use it for good but used it to have an affair with the wife of his boss. He stayed too late one night, the formula wore off and there he was...stuck in the wall forever!

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I also stumbled upon the "Wall of Love"...with I love you written in 311 different languages behind the metro Absesses in a lovely little park.

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As I continued along rue Lepic I had heard that in this street was the cafe that was the setting of the film Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain which was mostly filmed in the Montmartre area...Café des deux moulins...and "voila" there it was!! That dvd will be on the must watch again list when I get home!

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The rain had decided to come back and as I had been on the go for 5 hours I figured it was time to head for home.

On my way I found the Moulin Rouge!

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(This is not on my list to see till someone comes travelling with me)

Then I found the Montmartre Cemetery. It had begun to rain so I waited for it to stop just inside the cemetery under the traffic bridge that runs over the top..it was a very depressing scene...all these crypts...all kind of stacked together under the bridge like you would stack unused belongings or boxes under your house...

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There were some lovely garden areas further in but I decided that this was one experience that I didn't need to have as I finished my day by heading back through the spring rain to my comfy little apartment.

I loved my day strolling around Montmartre!

Posted by thewoodsies 10:01 Comments (0)

Sacre-Coeur on Easter Sunday

I found the people and the answer to my question!!

All the local people were inside lunching for Easter and ventured out around my apartment late in the afternoon and everyone else was visiting Sacre-Coeur!!

My apartment is definitely in a quieter area which is lovely to come home to after fighting the crowds of tourists. I decided to visit today as tomorrow rain is forecast...but Easter Sunday was not a good idea!

Oh my goodness there were hoards of people, many inside praying and the rest were part of the tourist circus that was going on outside. There were street performers everywhere, and I am sure the pickpockets were out in full force as it was mayhem trying to move through the crowds of people.

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I can now say that I have seen and photographed one of the Parisian icons I missed on my last trip and I am very pleased that most of this adventure will be away from the usual tourist hubs wandering the little hiddens streets off the beaten track!

As I returned home down the many stairs you have to climb to get to Sacre-Coeur and got closer to home the more locals I found out for their afternoon stroll.

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There is a lovely park area around the corner from my apartment and it was full of families and children out enjoying themselves before the evening rolled in.

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The weather had cleared a little and it was not quite as cold so it was a wonderful end to a great day...now home to prepare my feast!

Posted by thewoodsies 23:02 Comments (0)

Easter Sunday

After a long but pleasant flight from Singapore to Paris I arrived on time at 6.10am to a chilly 4degrees outside!

We must have landed in outer Paris as we taxied for at least 15 minutes to reach our arrival terminal...CDG is a HUGE airport!
After clearing customs and immigration I boarded the shuttle train to travel to Terminal 2 to collect my baggage.

Baggage in hand I called the Paris Shuttle Bus to arrange pick up and then headed out into the cold to wait for my ride. We had a lovely driver who chatted and was most concerned that he couldn't drop me off at my door as it was a one way street and he had missed the turn!

I easily found my apartment block at 9 rue du Square Carpeaux Montmartre, and headed into a lovely building which had obviously just been repainted...the masking tape on the door trim was a dead give away!!

No lugging my bag up the stairs this time, the apartment has a fully renovated elevator...which I happily took to the 8th floor! My top floor apartment is compact but very cosy. Double windows look out over the rooftops of Paris with glimpses of Sacre-Coeur on the hill.

My little apartment
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My Kitchen

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The view from my bed

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Sacre-Coeur

I unpacked and opened the windows to find the sun streaming through, casting a beautiful warmth to the whole apartment...what a lovely way to start my stay in Montmartre!

I was seduced by the warm sun shining onto the bed so had to have a little catnap before heading out to find my bearings. I needed to go and get some essential supplies to get me through the next day or so. Those essentials of course being coffee, cheese, vine tomatoes, half a rotisserie chicken, baguette, red wine and a treat for dessert...just because the Easter Bunny missed me as I was in transit!!

It seems very eerie in Paris today as there is almost no one out and about...I can't decide if it is because of the area I am staying in, although there are cars parked everywhere you look, or if it is because everyone is indoors with their family for Easter Sunday celebrations!! While walking around there were a few people about...I guess as tomorrow is also a holiday here it may be much the same.

As I made my way back to the apartment the clouds rolled in and took away my beautiful spring day and replaced it with spits of rain and a grey outlook. As it is only early afternoon here after a coffee I may brave the cooling outside temps to walk up to Sacre-Coeur before preparing an evening feast with all my goodies...

Posted by thewoodsies 09:38 Comments (0)

Another adventure begins...

School's out, packing is done and Paris is calling me!

This time it will be a 3 week adventure including a train trip to London to visit some of my favourite people.

I decided to give Qantas and Air France a go this time...so I headed of at 3.35pm for the 5 hour flight to Singapore. It all went off without a hitch and in a little more comfort than usual. I made the best decision ever to pay $80 extra to get exit row seats on both legs of the flight. I would have loved to go business class but exit row seats would have to do!

It was a great move as I ended up sitting next to a woman who is a Qantas hostie on the domestic routes, whose husband and son were travelling in business class but alas she ended up in economy...so the delightful cabin crew payed her special attention with glasses of Champagne from business class as well as a more up market sound proofed ear phone set and constant checking as to whether all was ok with her flight...the upside was as I was sitting next to her they decided it would be unfair if I got left out, so I was included in all the extra attention as well!!

I arrived with 3 hours to kill at Singapore airport...so I began to wander around window shopping...suddenly I remembered that when I booked in online it mentioned that one of my seats may have changed due to a change in aircraft, so I headed to the Air France desk just to make sure I still had an exit row. Lucky I remembered! The plane had been changed to a A380 Airbus and my seat choice was now in the general cattle class seating...after a few quick taps on the computer keyboard they magically placed me back where I should be. Then I found a comfy lounge to sit and read till boarding.

The A380 Airbus is a lovely plane and this one was very new and very comfy...it was lovely to hear the french staff greet us as we arrived on board!

Another 13 hours till we land in Paris...

Posted by thewoodsies 09:37 Comments (0)

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