On Saturday we visited Montmarte – me, Luuk, our two wee ones, plus my sister and her husband. It was their last day in Paris and we packed in the sights… starting with Sacre Coeur.
I’ve been here once before but it was way busier this time and the scam artists were thick on the ground. One pestered Hannah until Luuk actually pushed him away. The guy had a string and we thought he was going for her engagement ring. That night Luuk looked up common scams online and apparently the trick is to tie the string around her wrist, like a bracelet, and then make her pay for it… so not diamond thieves, but dodgy nonetheless.
Hannah, Will and I walked up to the top of Sacre Coeur… not just up the hill and up all the steps to the church, but all the way up the tower to the dome.
Ooh, it was a lot of stairs but worse than that the tower is tiny and gets smaller as you go up. Say hello to claustrophobia and dizziness: round and round and round we go.
Actually the dizziness was worse on the way down. But at the top – wow.
After reconnecting with the ground we found Luuk and the kids in the crowd. Elena was sleeping in the backpack and Louis was practising going up and down the step of a curb. That’s right – we went to Paris without a pushchair! That’s a first. And other than Luuk’s suffering shoulders, what a success. Elena slept in the backpack and we tag-teamed carrying Louis when he didn’t want to walk. Naturally he wanted to be with Luuk all day – quite the work-out.
We walked through some of the streets of montmarte, up on the hill, including through a square full of artists working, displaying and selling their masterpieces.
We were headed toward the cafe from the movie Amelie for lunch and browsed only a little bit on the way.
The cafe from Amelie.
Hanging out with Uncle Will and Aunty Hannah.
I took quite a few awful photos of the cafe… I’d never have picked it for a film set: very difficult to photograph well.
After lunch we got Cafe Gourmands, all around! Very Parisienne. They weren’t the best though, as far as Cafe Gourmands go. One of the items was a glass with chocolate syrup at the bottom and a whole lot of sweet cream on top.
Louis didn’t mind though.
I had to change Elena so I had a good excuse to see the toilet which features in the film… but it’s not ideal for changing a baby. Very awkward.
Next stop of our tourist blitz was the Moulin Rouge.
It pops out of nowhere – in the middle of a busy street, beside a crazy intersection, opposite a Metro station… but there it is. We didn’t go to a show but maybe one day. It’d be on my Paris Bucket List except for all the hints at disappointment I’ve heard from others. We’ll see.