Europe 2012: Day 22, Paris


Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre (Paris, France)

Woke up at 7AM.   It is cloudy.   According to the internet, it is supposed to be warm with a chance of showers.  I am coming down with a cold — I hate that!

We figured out how to use the washer/dryer combo in our kitchen.    My DH’s heavy flannel shirt has taken 4 cycles to dry but we have clean clothes again.

Around noon we decided to go to the Musée Nissim de Camondo.  If I had to be a wealthy Parisian in the 1900s, I would want a house just like this one!   It is stunning!  Here are some pictures:

Entry of the Nissum de Camondo house (Paris, France)

Wait a nice place for a cup of tea and some good friends. I especially like the paintings on the walls. (Nissum de Camondo, Paris, France)

Even the hallways are decorated! This tapestry depicts a West-Indies scene — very raw! (Nussim de Camondo, Paris, France)

I love these screens with colorful birds! (Nissum de Camondo, Paris, France)

This is the kitchen stove and oven. I estimate that the stove has room for at least 12 pots. The oven consists of four ovens and a grill (for those wonderful roasted chicken, I bet). (Nissum de Camondo, Paris, France)

We completed the museum around 2pm.   The day was warm and sunny — a bit too warm but I am not going to complain!    We decided to have lunch in the Parc Monceau, so we went off to the market to build a picnic.   We went to the fruit stand to get apricots.   We went to the bakery to get bread.   We went to the deli to get salads.   By the time we got to the park, it had been an hour and I figure we traveled at least 3 miles.   We found a shady bench in the park and watched the children ride the carousel.   It was lovely.

Italian Salad, Spinach Pie, and French bread — yummy! (Paris, France)

Watching the carousel go round and round (the blue thing is a submarine) — it was so cute and unexpected! (Parc Monceau, Paris, France)

Around 5pm we went back to the apartment.   My DH caught up on emails.   I took a nap.

Around 6:30pm, it was still light and warm outside.   We took the Metro to Montmartre,  to see the big white church on the hill,  Sacre Coeur.   Yeah, yeah, yeah — I said we planned to avoid the tourist areas on this trip, but I had only been here for about a minute once so I wanted to see it again.   Besides, there are great views of Paris from here, and a nice breeze!

Stairs going up to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica from the Metro (I counted nearly 200 steps). This is not the famous stairway to the Basilica — that one is over 300 steps.  Once we made it to the top, we saw the elevator. (Montmartre, Paris, France).

Steps going down from Sacré-Coeur Basilica. (Montmartre, Paris, France)

View of Paris from the Sacre-Coeour Basilica. (Montmartre, Paris, France)

Turn around — there is the Sacré-Coeur Basilica! (Montmartre, Paris, France)

I wasn’t supposed to, but I took a picture inside of the dome. Hey — the bookstore was closed so how could I buy the book?(Montmartre, Paris, France)

View of the Sarcre-Coeur Basilica from the street. (Montmartre, Paris, France)

We visited the Basilica around 9pm (yes, the sun was still out).  This Basilica is relatively new as Parisain churches go in that it was built in the late 1800s.  The stained glass the the Basilica are done in the Art Deco style, are wonderfully vibrant in color,  and have many images of Nuns depicting the sisters of St. Teresa – quite unusual!   Another interesting (but sad) thing is that the Basilica has been installed with six vending machines where you can purchase a coin (for 2 euros) to remember your visit.  They are not ugly machines, but geez!

At around 10pm, we found a restaurant in the Montmartre square for dinner — the square was buzzing with tourists and children who should really be in bed, I think.   Our main criteria for a restaurant was not food however, but the availability of outdoor seating on such a lovely night!    We shared a steak and fries dinner.  It was pretty good for 13 euros but it was a tourist trap all the same.   As we had dinner, we could watch all the artists doing cartoons of tourist.   My DH says to me, “See, that’s what an art degree and years of experience will get you — even in Paris!”

Like, drawing cheesy cartoons of rich tourists is a bad thing?

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