I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Paris: Montmartre and Tour Eiffel

We were happy to wake up to sunny skies today because we know the rain is coming! We met for breakfast at 9 here at the hotel. After breakfast we took the Metro to Montmartre to wander. We saw Sacre Couer high up on the hill.

At the base of the many many steps were the typical gypsies attempting to tie strings on our wrist. They seem more aggressive these days and mock you when you tell them no. There were gypsies peddling their wares on rounds of cloths and we laughed when the police walked through and they jumped up and ran. We also enjoyed watching a guy selling giant bubble string wands!

After climbing up the vast amount of steps, we took some time to enjoy the beautiful view before stepping into the church itself.

After exiting the church, we were distracted by a musical group and stopped to listen. We really enjoyed their music and Maddie dropped a few coins in their collection container.

We went around Sacre Couer to Place du Tertre, the square where the artists are located.

With such a pretty day today, the square was ringed with artists with varying styles and talents. I'm not sure how many times Debbie and I made our way around admiring, comparing and considering.

Maddie had decided that she wanted an artist to draw her portrait and after careful consideration she selected one. Well after sitting for almost an hour it seemed, the picture, although pretty, didn't look too much like her. Lesson learned, don't have yourself drawn at Montmartre! Debbie and I found some favorites to purchase among all of the artists and we all went home with something pretty!

We ate lunch in the square at Chez Eugene where we have eaten before. Apparently I didn't eat the quiche at that time because it was pretty tasteless.

It was a great bathroom stop however and an opportunity to rest our feet before we set off to explore Montmartre. Before leaving the area, we took the time to look around for some street graffiti.

After thoroughly exploring Place du Tertre, we left the area to wander up and down and around and around on the streets of Montmartre.

We found the Wall of Love a.k.a the I Love You Wall while we were wandering. This wall is located in the Jehan Rictus garden square. This 430 square foot wall was created in 2000 by calligraphist Fédéric Baron and mural artist Claire Kito. It is composed of 612 tiles, on which the phrase 'I love you' is featured 311 times in 250 languages.

We made note of many of the street artists such as Space Invader (http://space-invaders.com/home/), Gregos (http://www.gregosart.com/STREETART/Eng/FRANCE/PARIS.html), Intra Larue (http://undergroundparis.org/intra-larue-installs-her-painted-breast-art-streets-paris#more-5901), Thoma Vuille (http://parisdansmonoeilen.weebly.com/m-chat.html), and Cyklops (http://lecyklop.blogspot.com).  

I truly enjoy hunting for graffiti and interesting street art so the little discoveries while we were wandering were exciting! I am a huge fan of Cyclops and we sought out this particular street where all of his painted poles were associated with famous artists!

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec 1892

Auguste Renoir

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec 1892

Paul Gauguin 1889

the back of the Gauguin pole

Suzanne Valadon 1921

Marcel Duchamp 1905

Kees Van Dongen 1910

Amadeo Modigliani 1917

Henri Matisse 1947

Henri Matisse 1905

Vincent Van Gogh 1889

Kees Van Dongen 1925

Pablo Picasso 1932

Paul Gauguin 1893

Edouard Manet 1866

Pablo Picasso 1937

Pablo Picasso 1907

We saw Moulin Rouge and the two other windmills that have been subjects of french painters for many years.

The scenery was so beautiful that we just continued to wander throughout the winding streets.

We stopped to get some ice cream from Amorino. Somehow I knew we would seek out another opportunity to eat this yummy gelato!

We ate our gelato (and Maddie drank her shake) while making our descent down to Denise Acabo's chocolate shop, A l'Etoile d'Or. It was closed last year after a devastating explosion and noone knew if she would be able to reopen it. Well it reopened late last year and is exactly the same, as far as I can tell, as what it was before! She is an interesting lady in her braids and school girl skirt and she doesn't speak a lick of English. She is still such a personable soul and I was tickled to death to be in her shop while she was there.

She even let us take a picture with her after our purchase. I feel like I have a photo with a French celebrity! http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2014/07/update-on-a-letoile-dor-chocolate-shop-denise-acabo/ .

We left Montmartre for a visit with the Eiffel Tower which turned out to be quite a memorable one.

We spent some time at Trocadero taking pictures and admiring the huge structure! It's the perfect spot to take it all in.

I had tried to buy tickets online to go up to the top a couple of weeks ago and they weren't available.

We decided to brave the lines anyway and buy tickets to go to the tippy top of the Eiffel Tower.

I absolutely hate to stand in the long line, but this was something that Maddie really wanted to do so up we went. I haven't done this since 1994 and the views are still just as amazing.

We left the Eiffel Tower and after some confusion as to where our next metro station was, we decided to stay in the area, eat locally and go back to Trocadero to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle.

 It sparkles at the top of the hour for 5 minutes beginning right after sunset until 1 a.m.

It is magical and was a wonderful way to end this gorgeous day. Tomorrow there is a 100% chance of rain but that won't keep us inside. So until tomorrow....

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