Monday, August 22, 2011

{Flashback}: Day 6

Today's Itinerary:

  • Sacre Coeur Basilica
  • MontMartre
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Palais de Justice
  • Sainte-Chapelle
  • Conciergerie

Can you keep up today??

After seeing what seems like endless amounts of museums and cathedrals since we moved overseas, I have gotten to the point that it is all the same to me. Aside from the absolute major famous ones though. I know that may sound ignorant, but I can only handle so many cathedrals!
Sacre Coeur Basilica was one of those cathedrals where I took pictures of the outside because it was a new place I haven't been to, but in the inside I was like, "Eh, been there, seen that."

Around the basilica is a major hot spot for pickpocketers and other scammers. Being here was probably the first time in Paris that reminded me of being in Barcelona. I was pretty on edge on the inside, but I was trying to keep my cool on the outside.
A popular scam around this area is for a group of men to come and grab your arm and wrap a bracelet around you and then demand money for the "gift". I saw 3 young adult American girls trying to be friendly and kinda chatting away to these men, several Arab men, who were trying to put bracelets on them. The men had smiles on their faces for I'm sure they are thinking they struck gold to either get as much money from them possible or pickpocket them while they are distracted. I told Tim, "Those girls are such idiots."
And another Arab man on the lift to the top was making me so nervous. I had my eye on him the whole time in the lift. No one is getting me again!

From there, we took a walk to find ourselves in MontMartre. A quaint little artsy town. Here you can find local artists displaying absolute beautiful art pieces. I picked out my favourite one, but when I asked how much it was, (*cough* €380), I had to put it back and settle for a painting somewhere later. Tim said to me, "Of course, you pick the most expensive one." "I have expensive, good taste," I replied. ;)

I love little towns near big cities. Quite, lovely scenery. More moments and pictures to bottle up.

Moulin Rouge wasn't really a place on our initial list of things to see, but since we were kinda within walking distance and we needed to take the Metro to our next stop near there, we thought, "What the heck, why not?"
For those of you wanting to visit Paris, take my advice and don't see the Moulin Rouge. Total waste of time.
It was stupid, actually.

It looks so much better and more glamourized in paintings and pictures and on our last day of our trip when we had a car and drove past it at night, it was a little cooler all lit up, but still stupid. If you must see it, see it at night all lit up, take a picture, and then scram.
It is also located on a very long street with nothing but pornography stores, strip clubs, lingerie and sex stores, and dirty gross looking men. So like I said, a total stupid looking building in a total stupid location. Huge let down.

I never thought I would say "London Underground" and the word "clean" together in the same sentence. Not until I used the Paris Metro public transportation that is. It is so dirty and 100% stroller unfriendly. The trains are all tagged up, rubbish is everywhere, and zero metro workers around to make sure things are going right or if you have questions, etc. You also have to manually open the doors on most of the trains and there is not nearly enough places to sit at there is on the London tube. London has it going on I tell ya! Holla!
Here we are in the nasty Metro.

While waiting in line to see the famous Saint-Chapelle you just look to your right and see the Palais de Justice. We didn't go inside or anything, but we saw it.

Saint-Chapelle is very beautiful inside. A definite must-see. My camera and camera skills combined are incapable of capturing how beautiful the mosaic windows really are, so don't judge this building by my pics.

You can see the girls up at the front in this picture. Natalie was right next to me when she walked up this point and said to herself, "Wow. That's amazing." haha

If my memory serves me right, people during this time learned to read scripture by reading the mosaic artwork. You read the windows from top to bottom, left to right around the room.

Again, right next door really, is the Conciergerie. Not really the most exciting place. I would have been alright not seeing it, but it was cool to see where Maria Antoniette was held prisoner for 3 months before her execution??

The girls needed a serious break after seeing, I'm sure to them, completely boring things. You probably wonder how my girls behave and tolerate us dragging them all over London, Barcelona, Paris and seeing to what most 4 and 2 year olds think as completely unchildfriendly and not fun. I mean, when Tim and I think back at what we make them do, my girls do so well!
They climb MANY, no exaggeration, LOADS of stairs, we make them walk, stare at old buildings, tell them to whisper, remind them often not to run, wait in multiple long lines, remind them not to bug people around them, make them look at old art pieces/furniture/architecture, that I'm sure seem so endless to them!
I have to give my girls a huge shot out. They do really well all things considered. Tim and I always keep them in mind though and try really hard to break things during the day with things they would enjoy. Kids can only handle so much. We also try to make it as interesting as possible and try to explain as best we can what we are seeing, what we are touching, what things mean. We really hope they don't forget these experiences and become more cultured children because of it.

So with that said, while Grandpa and Grandma left to do more sight-seeing of old cathedrals and what not, we took the girls to a park right across from our apartment.

Saint Eustache is literally right across from the park and the park right across from our apartment. What a neat scenery to play in, huh?

The girls loved it, of course, and so did we as we sat and took in the sceneray around us. We watched some really young boys, no older than 9 no younger than 5, kick around a football for fun. They were so fun to watch because they had the sweetest football skills I have ever seen! The control they had over the ball at such a young age was amazing! Even the little goalie would completely dive into the ground with great form to save the ball. No bumble bee gathering, kicks that cause the ball to go in a completely different direction, or last second no thought actions here in Europe!

Tim and I often ask each other after trips or even after an ordinary day, "What was your favourite part about ____? So if you were to ask me what my favourite part/sight/event/food/anything about Paris I would go back to this night on this day...

Wayne and Elaine let us go out at night just the two of us while they stayed behind and put the girls to bed. Such a treat. We headed straight to see the Eiffel Tower at night.

So here is the moment I want bottled up forever.

Near the Eiffel Tower Tim and I bought Nutella and Banana crepes. Our first time having them. They hand them to you really warm all wrapped up in a wrapper. Those crepes are one of the best things I have ever eaten.

Crepes in hand. Nutella and Banana. Warm and delicious. Just me and my love.
We kept walking toward the Eiffel Tower eating away when we come face to face with seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time up close. It was beautiful. I couldn't believe I was in a beautiful evening in Paris with a man who I love staring up at the Eiffel Tower.
Then suddenly, BAM the Eiffel Tower lights up! It was absolutely breathtaking. I just kept saying, "Oh, my gosh. Oh, it's beautiful! Oh, my gosh."

You couldn't have written a better script.

After taking in this little area and getting to show some proper European PDA, we started walking and half way made to the Metro when we look back and see the Eiffel Tower "bedazzled", as Tim calls it. Once it gets dark, on the hour every hour it twinkles for 5 minutes. So beautiful! Pictures don't do it justice so we vidotaped it. And even then it is nothing like real life!

I'm convinced you haven't lived if you don't see this in real life.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

The Eiffel Tower certainly was a highlight for me too.


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