Wednesday, February 12, 2014


The day we decided to make the trek up to Montmartre happened to be one of the most beautiful days since our arrival in Paris.  After several days of rain, the sun broke through the clouds and made a triumphant appearance, allowing us to enjoy climbing the stairs up to Sacré Cœur and roaming through the narrow streets of Montmartre.

A large group of us made our way to Montmartre by way of the metro. Once we stepped out of the Metro station we followed the well placed signs directing us toward La Basilique du Sacré Cœur. As we followed the signs, the roads grew steeper but I powered through the hilly path because I knew that meant that we were getting closer to Sacré Cœur.  My excitment growing, the group trudged on until we reached the final leg of our journey, the set of stairs pictured below.  From this point on, we took our time, stopping for pictures of the colorful chairs and tables and the old light posts that lined the stairs.

I'm not sure what I was expecting of Montmartre but what it is absolutely stunned me.  The walk up to this neighborhood can be tiring, but it is well worth it. I climbed the last bit of stairs with my head down, making sure I didn't trip and fall down the stairs, as clumsy as I am.  So, when I finally reached the top and looked up, I was taken aback. There, before me, stood Sacré Cœur in all its glory, shining a bright white against the clear blue sky. That would've been enough to make the trip to Montmartre worth it, but I glanced to my left and was again stunned by an absolutely amazing view of Paris. High above the city, on this beautiful day, I could see for miles and just didn't want to look away.

I took (precisely) a million pictures as we made our way towards the stairs in front of Sacré Cœur. There was a man playing one of my favorite songs, Hallelujah, on the harp. This just added to the perfection of the moment. I would've been happy sitting on the stairs, listening to the harp, and soaking in my surroundings for the entire day. However, there was still so much more to see!

We made our way inside Sacré Cœur, where, unfortunately, no pictures are allowed, and we each took our time admiring its' beauty and majesty. The Basilica is so large and there is so much to see, so many details, that it was one of those things that allows you to put your life in perspective. There were so many people inside, from all of the world, but we all came together to admire this beautiful building. Yet another spot at which I could've spent all day sitting and soaking in.

When we walked outside of the basilica there were three guys just to the right of the entrance singing and playing instruments. A few of us stopped to listen to them for a bit, they were so good. The song was in French but it was upbeat and hard not to dang and sing (or at least hum) along to. It brought the biggest smile to my face (and perhaps a tear to my eye) because it really struck me in that moment, on that beautiful day in that gorgeous place, how amazing life can be if you really go live it.

After our visit to Sacré Cœur, we walked through the streets on Montmartre. We stopped for lunch and some souvenir shopping. It's common in Montmartre for artists to walk up to people on the street and convince tourists to have their portrait drawn. This happened to a couple girls in the group. One of the portraits turned out great, while the other looked nothing like the girl but it was still really entertaining to see. There is a whole square, Place du Tertre, where artists set up their easels and spend their days drawing the tourists that pass by. It's a bit cheesy (and some of the prices are outrageous) but I think I'm going to return one day this spring to have my portrait drawn.

With the help of a few kind locals, we made our way down the hill towards the Pigalle district. This district is big on nightlife and is most famous for being the home of Moulin Rouge, our final destination of the day.  We found Moulin Rouge almost immediately once we turned onto the street due to the infamous red windmill.  It is smaller and more concealed than I had imagined but it was still cool to see it in real life. I'd love to go to a show there, apparently it looks the same as it did in its heyday, but the tickets are insanely expensive and that neighborhood can be dodgy at night. After a few typical touristy pictures, we walked over to the Metro station across the street  and headed home.

An adorable cafe at the bottom of the steps that lead to Sacré Cœur.

PARIS. This is such a spectacular view.

Basilique du Sacré Cœur and myself cheesing in the front.

It stood out against the beautiful blue sky.

People enjoying the sunny day and the harp player.

Still so excited that I can see for miles and miles.

The three guys singing and playing music outside of Sacré Cœur. "Everybody sing: 'OOOH-OHHHH."

I can't get over the amount of detail on this place.

Yes, we stole this idea from the guy behind me...

We got a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower through a fence on our walk through Montmartre.

The quaint streets of Montmartre as we made our way down to Pigalle.

Moulin Rouge!

Of course, now I really want (read: need) to watch the movie.

Pigeons chilling on the Metro sign as we headed home.

I can't wait to spend more days wandering the streets of Montmartre and sitting on the steps in front of Sacré Cœur as the weather begins to warm up.

Until Next Time.

1 comment:

  1. Simply amazing....I'm learning so much and loving the beautiful photos!