My plan for today was to get myself to the Sacre Coeur basilica and then find a little cluster of Passages (I think the French say "pah-sahge" sort of) one of which was supposed to have a miniature store. So, with my metro tickets in hand I set off across the city a fair distance this time. I think my one train went by six stops before it got to mine and then the other one was maybe 2 or 3. When I came up from "down under" what should greet my eyes but a merry-go-round, an open-air antique-type market, and yet another of the 144 original metro entrances. And it's different from the one I posted the other day for Chris, so here's a picture of it:
I looked around a little at what was happening but I sure didn't need any of it, didn't have any room in my luggage or at home for any of it, and certainly didn't need to spend the money on any of it. So, being quite close to my destination I decided that first I would have a pot of tea and a pastry cause all I had eaten before I left was a small banana. Had that and I could be wrong, but so far, it doesn't seem to matter where you get the pain du chocolat pastries that I love so much - they are always delicious, be they from a nice artisan patisserie or from a fairly pitiful little place like I went to this morning.
Walked on to Sacre Couer and was certainly as impressed as I'd thought I'd be when I first saw it. It is a truly beautiful building. Very white and sits way up on top of the summit of Mont Martre (mountain of the martyrs cause guess who was beheaded here? St. Denis - that's right!) I'll have the full story on him by the time I go home. :) This is the highest point in the city and you can go even higher by climbing the tower, which I did not do. The climb up from the street wasn't bad either because some of it was just a sloping path, some of it was those very shallow, broad steps that you can take a step or two on between actually going up a step and the rest that was actual stairs were also relatively shallow. So I didn't suffer terribly. Plus which, stopping every 5 feet to take another picture always helps (and no, I'm not posting all of them). But here are the ones I am posting and you'll see why I took so many - this stunning building and a spectacular morning weather-wise. And there are some that aren't of the basilica...
Actually, all this building viewing took place after I had found at least two of the Passages and had my sad disappointment. There were actually 2 mini stores in one of them - one of which a woman on line had told me was just the same old stuff you see anywhere but the other she said was fairly special. So I went into that one and they had some miniatures, but to me it was still just the same old stuff. I was hoping for some little "treasure" type, hand-made things. There are several (that I know of) exquisite miniature websites and blogs on-line from French miniaturists and even though a lot of what they show is what they're creating, they must have somewhere that they purchase things. Anyway, the Passages are neat - they're covered arcades that go from one street to the next one or even longer. The second one I went in was almost totally cafes with a few art gallery type places here and there.
So, back on track now. As I walked I was trying to think how I could take the metro home and avoid the one stop that had given me so much trouble last night cause I seemed to be heading for the Louvre again and I didn't want to end up getting on the same route home this time. Found a bench and sat down to rest my poor feet and take a look at my metro map and figured out a path I could follow if I could find the metro station. So continued walking and deciding that when I got to the Louvre I would go in that fantastic underground mall, go to Starbucks and see if they had ICED tea - nowhere here does. So a couple more pics...
I wandered around in the mall for a bit cause it's just pretty darned fantastic and one could easily spend most of the day and a whole lot of money there. Oh, and I went ahead and bought a ticket ror Wednesday when they're open late again - now I just have to remember to do it Wednesday! Then went back outside to that garden area of the Louvre where I was last night and wandered a bit further into it and - surprise - there was the Tower looking very far away in the pictures - it actually looked quite good "in the real". And lots of sunbathers again.
And, folks that is it. This queen is going to bed!
- Mary Lynne
- West Virginia
- When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!
P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).
I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.