Montmartre

I haven’t even updated my own journal, yet here I am informing all of you about my antics! Talk about getting my priorities mixed up.

After my last update on Saturday I went wandering past L’église Saint-Eustache, taking a few happy snaps of it and the surrounding gardens. Not much else happened during the day apart from my purchase of jellybeans and beer to keep me entertained as I whiled away the afternoon and Parisien humidity in my hotel bedroom.

That evening (although it was still as bright as a typical Sydney day at 3pm) I blindly walked in the direction of Montmartre. As I went back past Gare de L’est and Gare du Nord I walked through a quaint market filled with fruit and vegetable sellers, cheese stalls, butchers and fishmongers. The fish stunk from being exposed to the heat for the entire day, causing me to gag as I hurried past them.

There was an increase in commotion and commuters further up the road. I turned into a densely crowded street of what appeared to be predominantly tourists walking by a carousel. My curiosity forced me to investigate.

They weren’t there to ride the carousel. They were there to marvel at the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart). It sits high upon a hill overlooking Paris. Definitely something one has to see for themselves as no words can describe it, inside and out. I spent some time listening to people pray as I sat on a pew with Jesus looking down at me from a dome above the altar. I’m sure he wanted me to purchase a souvenier coin from one of the vending machines surrounding the church’s exit.

I returned to the road and the ubiquitous French restaurants, passing by a cemetary that I would have entered if the entrance wasn’t on the direct opposite side of where I stood. The Moulin Rouge had to be somewhere. I knew it. For some reason there didn’t seem to be any street signs to give me clues as to its location. I was about to give up and check my map but resisted defeat.

Deciding it could be time to get some food and perhaps (on the off chance) find something interesting to do, I walked south, past the cemetary, into an area named Clichy-something. It was humming with activity. That’s if you call eating in restaurants a humming activity. Spotting two dressed-up young Frenchwomen walking by, I (in an act completely out-of-character, I assure you) began following them in the hope that they were going somewhere interesting to do something interesting. My discreet prowling lasted for about 30 minutes as I shadowed them off the main roads and eventually into a back street. They disappeared inside a non-distinct residential building and left me alone and lost with nothing to show for it.

I spent an hour walking back home via yet another direction only to return disgusted with the lack of Paris’ nightlife on a summer Saturday.

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