Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Paris, Day 3

I'm a breakfast person. I knew that I would need a good breakfast each morning (with some kind of protein) to make it through our fun-filled days. Jim found a little bakery, or pâtisserie, and they had these lovely quiches and pain au chocolat (chocolate croissants)! Thank you, Jimmy! He is always taking care of me :)

Paris Le Marais was near our hotel area. It is well known art gallery and GLBT community. I loved seeing all of the rainbow decals in store/restaurant windows showing they are supportive.

After my hearty and delicious breakfast we were ready to meet Ana and Rich for the day's festivities. We traveled by Metro to the Montmarte district in the 18th arrondissement. The main attraction, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, sits on top of a giant hill. We were lucky to have Ana, who knew that our metro passes would also work for the trolley car taking you up the stairs. Those stairs looked very steep and intimidating! (They're not all pictured below.)

The Basilica was beautiful to see but because it sits at the highest point of the city, it was also beautiful to look down for the view. The Eiffel Tower was too far away and too far to the side to point out, but the rest of the city seemed to be spread before us.

Pictures weren't allowed in the basilica, but I did take a few without realizing that at first, and then I took two secret ones. Shhh! I didn't use flash (which is the standard no-no, so I didn't see the harm)...

This is a little side chapel.

Golden Jesus.

I love gargoyles!

The day was incredibly hot. Sticky, sweaty uncomfortable hot. I say that without complaining, even now. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything!

So because we hadn't had any coffee yet (the pâtisserie didn't offer any) we chose to have a cáfe glacé, a sweet frothy iced coffee, instead of the usual beer or glass of rosé to cool off. It was such a treat to sit and enjoy this area before we explored some more.

We walked a little ways before we saw this cute little train that offered tours of the Montmartre area. We hopped on board and enjoyed the breeze when we could catch it and enjoyed the sights.

We passed the Red Light district of sex shops. Oooh la la.

And we saw the Moulin Rouge! I'm sure they offer can-can shows but we didn't even think of stopping. I think it would be interesting to read up on that period of time!

Another selfie. I'm glad I don't look as hot and sweaty as I surely was...

After the train tour we did explore the top of the hill, and its artist community.

The area is well known for its portrait artists and painters.

We did walk away with one art purchase, an ink drawing of the Eiffel Tower of course (:
We walked down the stairs to leave the area and I found these graffiti works of art to be interesting.
Gnome bomb!

Yoda and his bride.


Back on the Metro.

I'm pretty sure we headed back to our hotel to wash up and rest for the rest of the day/night. I think Jim and I were feeling brave and decided to head out on our own for dinner, with a nighttime river cruise lined up for later with Ana and Rich. The metro wasn't hard to navigate and so we made our way to the general direction of the cruise company and found some grub.

Jim became very intrigued with a local drink. We kept seeing these red colored beverages at several other places, so he tried to figure out what it was that others were ordering. He didn't get it right here but he does love his Campari!

We stumbled across this Flame of Liberty, which has become a sort of memorial for Princess Diana.

We stopped to pose with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

The river cruise was with a boat company called Bateaux Mouche. This metallic dinosaur skeleton was near the boat company and I thought it was an interesting shot.

The river boat easily seats several hundred people.  We chose to sit on the outside top of the boat.

So many spectacular bridges!

It was quite common to see many people sitting by the river and enjoying a picnic, or bottles of wine!

The Notre Dame from the River.

A little further away and with the sunset behind...  So lovely!

This is the outside of the Musee D'Orsay, my most favorite museum.  It used to be a rail station.

You just don't get tired of this view.

 After the river cruise we all parted ways.  Ana and Rich needed to eat, and Jim and I decided to walk towards the Eiffel Tower for a nighttime view.  We were walking when suddenly it lit up!

 It twinkles like this for five minutes on the hour, starting at 10pm.  We only caught it once.

After the twinkling it glows prettily.

And then turned into a beautiful rainbow!

Jim and I walked around a bit but were curious to explore the area surrounding the ET.  There were vendors and tents along the street and river.  We found a champagne tent and sat by the river/bridge to enjoy the Eiffel Tower with champagne in hand.  

Thank you Jimmy for making this night special :)

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