Sunday, March 25, 2012

Exploring Montmartre

La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre

It's been awhile since I visited Montmartre so after seeing the "wall", I went up to the Basilica of Sacré Coeur for a view of the city of Paris. Many years ago I took the stairs to the Basilica but this time around I opted for the easy way up which is by funicular. The fare is similar to the metro. So it's best to buy a carnet of metro tickets if you're staying a few days in Paris.

In front of the Sacré Coeur a crowd of people spilled down the long flight of stairs. Street entertainers were having a field day, in particular, a young man who climbed up the lamp post and played with a soccer ball, oblivious of his precarious position as the crowd cheered him on. Across the horizon Paris lay in a haze. It was a gorgeous day to be outdoors.


Walking through narrow streets I passed cafés buzzing with activity. I thought I'd go down Rue Lepic to the Café des Deux Moulins and try their crême brûlée which is now called Amelie from the movie of the same name which was filmed there. But as with all the cafés in the neighborhood, there were no tables to be had. Better luck next time.


Rue Lepic is a picturesque street which goes down to Boulevard Clichy where the Moulin Rouge is located. I stopped by a flower shop at the corner to check out the early spring blooms. A colorful bouquet costs almost 10 euros.


I was distracted from my walk by another shop window where a cat was basking in the sun surrounded by works of art. What a lucky meow!


Sated from window shopping, I found myself on busy Boulevard Clichy and right in front of the Moulin Rouge.


Vincent Van Gogh used to live with his brother at 54 Rue Lepic during his Paris days and there's a plaque on the building to this effect. Another interesting place to visit in Montmartre is the Lapin Agile which was frequented by the likes of Picasso and Braque during their formative years as artists. It's in the opposite direction from Blvd. Clichy at 22 Rue des Saules at the Butte Montmartre.

"I like to look for things no one else catches".  Amelie


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Images by Charie

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