Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring in Paris~Montmartre: Basilica Sacré Cœur, Artists' heaven, Red Light District and Macarons

Here's the second part of my adventure in Paris! This one has a bit more action in here I find.
We went to Montmartre, the heaven for artists. It was a solid 40 minutes walk from our hotel, mainly up heel on our way there, but it was totally worth it! The place is famous from all the gathering artists and many famous artists having lived and worked here. For example, Picasso and Modigliani were living in one of the ordinary looking houses in one of those narrow streets. Even now, it is still the forum for painters, musicians and, part of the modern culture, thrift shops. Most shops we came across on our way were thrift shops, selling second hand clothing.
I have read on several travel forums that this neighbourhood in particular gets very sketchy, especially during night time. There are also black men who will "tie strings around your finger then ask for tips" or the old Gypsy pickpockets. While we were there, it was very peaceful. Perhaps due to the three police officers who were standing in the middle of the road, but it was quite calm. Even though there were still a lot of people, I'm sure it was toned down a lot since it's off season and a bit late.

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The view from the top of the hill was beautiful but because the weather that day was somewhat hazy, it could have been better. Yet, it's still one of photographer's best spot to take a picture of this beautiful city.
Of course, the star of all this stair climbing is the Basilica Sacré Cœur standing on the edge of the hill. It is so majestic at first glance, it left me speechless. The aura that the basilica had was sacred and flawless. The artwork inside was from another world too. It is worth it, in my opinion, to at least climb to the top, enjoy the the view of the city then go around the basilica. They had a worship where all the nuns were singing in a choir and it was amazing! I'm a Catholic myself so it was so exciting to listen to them in that atmosphere.

While going down hill, we came across a sweets store selling cookies and macarons. I bought my first box of macaron there. They were gorgeous! The box was adorable too. Very cute and artistic with the colours.

The famous Moulin Rouge, where the amazing movie was based on, is also in that area. It is, as some expected, in the red light district of the city. It's an entire street full of neon signs saying "sexy ladies", "stripping", "bar", etc. It was kind of shocking because we just came down from the Basilica. It was getting dark too so you could see why some people didn't feel comfortable around. Some people from bars where dragging people into their place a little y force, telling them that they have cheap beer and show. It sounds like a scam to me... That doesn't hinder with the fact that it is still very pretty.

Back to Avenue Opera

Paris Opera at night

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