SEPTEMBER 24, 2013

We arrived to Paris by sleeper train from Rome. Such a fun experience to try at least once! Check out my previous blog post for more details!

It was great to be back in the city of lights. We headed straight from the train station to drop our bags off at
Maguy ‘s guestroom (listed with AIRBNB). It was great to see a familiar welcoming face when we arrived at the apartment. We didn’t stay at the guest house very long before we headed back out to make the most of our last day in Europe. Our trip was quickly coming to an end but we still had lots of energy to explore. It was so convenient to be in such close walking distance to Rue des Boulets metro station, it made traveling around the city so easy!

We walked the streets along the picturesque Seine River taking our time to take photos and people watch. The temperature was still warm but you could tell Autumn was well on its way. The hint of a cool breeze was refreshing after a week in humid Mediterranean weather.

It didnt take us long to find our way to the historic Catholic cathedral, Notre-Dame de Paris.

Breathtaking from the outside and the inside. By far my most favorite church visited on this trip. Pictures do not do it justice.. but I sure did take a lot of them. Here are just a sample…

We continued from the 4th arrondissement of Paris to the the highest point in the city, the Montmartre district (in the 18th arrondissement, a part of the Right Bank). Although this area of the city is much more urban and grungy with its sex shops and bars, it is still rich in history. Many artists had studios or worked around the community of Montmartre such as Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. Montmartre is also the setting for several hit films including Amelie!

We made our way from Anvers metro station through little gift shops along Rue de Steinkerque. We picked up some final souvenirs and a tasty selection of colorful macaroon pastries, then found ourselves a quiet restaurant to sit, rest and enjoy a late dinner. Ironically we must have been missing Italy because we chose to eat at a cute little Italian restaurant with lots of outside seating with a view of the park. Did I mention I love people watching?

We had hoped to make it to the top of the hill in time to watch the sun set over Paris but our timing was off. We still enjoyed the climb to Sacré-Cœur Basilica at dusk and enjoyed the fabulous night view of Paris’s city lights. We enjoyed our first taste of real Parisian macaroons sitting on the steps of the Basilica and enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. This seemed like ‘the spot’ to be on a warm fall evening, the steps and grass were packed. It was easy to spot the tourists but there were still many locals and a handful of panhandlers eager to sell their gadgets and souvenirs. Couples had planned ahead and enjoyed small picnics and the sound of a bottle being uncorked could be heard ever so often. Relaxing on the hill was a nice break from the busy afternoon of sightseeing.

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