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!
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.
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!
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!
(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...
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!