April 8, 2008

Montmartre and Sacre Coeur with my parents

Posted in Exploring, Travel, Visitors tagged , , , , , , , at 7:57 pm by Lauren

March 14 may have been my parents’ last day in Paris, but did that mean they were tired? No way! What would they be tired from, anyway? Hundreds and hundreds of stairs? Sheesh!

Still, we weren’t going to climb the Arc de Triomphe, but we did go take a look at it, macarons from Laduree in hand. Very nice, everything as it should be. Let’s avoid the climb though.

So we went to Montmartre. When we arrived at the Lamarck Calaincourt metro station, we scoffed at the line for the elevator and headed straight for the stairs. One level further up, there was another elevator stop (for no reason, it appeared). Still, we kept going. Not until we’d started climbing steps and cleared another level was there a sign announcing the hundred more steps we’d have to climb. How did this happen?

Still, we told ourselves, panting, we had at least decided to take the City Walk that supposedly started at the top. Why then, when we got out of the metro, did we keep climbing up steep inclines? I guess Montmartre will have that effect on you.

We wound around towards the top of the hill, passing the Montmartre vineyard and giving Dad a first taste of touristy (yet so full of potential) Place du Tertre.

When we entered Sacre Coeur, I heard beautiful singing voices, which I assumed were from a professional CD being played over loudspeaker. Then I saw the nuns. They were phenomenal, and if you can coincide your visit with the noon service, I highly recommend the experience.

Coming out, the view and Pachabel’s Canon in D greeted us. Pachabel’s Canon was a bit of a fixture around our house during my high school years. Alan played it on the piano (as did I, though not as well), and this day we were delighted to hear it on the harp. I’ve never seen a street musician with a harp before, but this seemed the perfect setting for him.

From Montmartre, we took the metro to Sevres-Babylone, where we had a delicious lunch at Nemrod (though my book was a little suggestive that it wouldn’t be as expensive as, say, a dinner). Still, it was well worth 14 euros to me to have cold thick slabs of perfectly cooked (rare) roast beef with gooey aligot. Heaven! And the elderly woman dining alone in the table next to us was a hoot.

As usual, I left my parents for some work, and they finally saw the Eiffel Tower up close and then took a ride on a bateau mouche. And that concludes my parents’ visit to Paris! A bientot!

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