Friday, February 3, 2012

Après Montmartre

Before we left the Montmartre district altogether, we made one more stop: the Moulin Rogue! We didn't really have the inclination to spend the Euro to go in, and it was conveniently right next to a Metro stop, so we snapped some photos from across the street and then continued on our way.

At that point, we'd mostly exhausted our list of "must see"s (minus going into the Louvre for her, which she chose to save for when her husband takes her to Paris, and Versailles; it was too far out of the way to make it down there and back in decent time, even by way of the Metro system), so we decided we should eat dinner, go up the Eiffel Tower, and call it a night.

We ended up eating across the street from the cafe we ate at the first night, and after eating, we went back to that cafe so I could buy a bottle of wine to take home. Then we went back to my favorite Parisian landmark...

Approaching the line to go up the Tower!
We stood in line for probably about an hour...shuffling forward ever slowly...

Bust of Gustave Eiffel, beneath the Tower
Unfortunately, we found out, as we got to the checkpoint where security checks bags for weapons and such, bottles are not allowed up the Eiffel Tower. I mean, I guess it makes sense, as they don't want anyone dropping them from above, but it wasn't anything I thought about, prior to getting in line. (They really should put that out there...) Even worse than that? They have no place to check your things at. So my options were to throw the expensive bottle of wine I'd just purchased into the trash, or leave the line. Disappointed, we left the line. :(

Instead, we went across the Seine and took some tourist-y  photos of the Tower from the Palais de Chaillot. as there wasn't anything else we could think off the tops of our heads to go see and the day was quickly winding down, we started back toward the hotel. On our walk, we came across a landmark that surprised us both...

Flame of Liberty

It's an exact replica of the flame held by the Statue of Liberty in New York, and it ended up turning into an unofficial monument to Princess Diana, as this was the tunnel in which she died. I hadn't looked up that information at all, so I didn't even think to look specifically for it, but we happened across it, and I'm glad we did!

From there, we went back to our hotel and slept hard after all that walking about, and set out to return home the next morning.

Aside from my iPhone getting stolen (due to my own oblivious nature), the weekend was absolutely amazing, and I wouldn't trade that time there for the world! And I will, one day, fact...

In the car, driving back to Germany, I told Misha that what I want for my 10-year wedding anniversary is to renew our vows on a boat on the Seine in Paris. I even told her that if I got that, I would consider letting The Instigator upgrade my ring (which he's been pestering for since we got married!). Naturally, she told him nearly as soon as she could, and he has evidently not only already set up a plan for saving accordingly (one year for the ring, 2 years for the trip), but also dragged me into the jewelry store to narrow down options as to how large of a stone I'll let him get me...and for anyone that knows me, knows that to accept a larger diamond in my ring is a huge deal! LOL

So, Paris, until we meet again...J'adore!

Continuing the saga...

You may remember, back before my mom came to visit, that I was once blogging about my trip to Paris...well, I figured it was high time (and then some!) that I wrapped that one up so I could move on to blog about my BFF's wedding (which was in September) and my birthday (which was in October)!

The last I left you with was Misha and myself making it to the Place de la Concorde. From there, we hopped on the Metro and zipped up to the Opera National de Paris Garnier. For those of you that may not know, this building has a specific literary (and Broadway musical) significance that drew me there: it is the setting for The Phantom of the Opera.

I was sadly disappointed, though, that it looked nothing like the opera house in the recent film adaptation (though that could have easily been due to the fact that there are far more buildings around it now than there were when the film was set). As there was an admission charge to enter the opera house, we stuck to simply taking photos of the exterior (I'll go back with The Instigator and take a gander indoors!) before hopping back on to the Metro and shooting on up to our next destination: Sacré Cœur.

On our way uphill, Misha's poor feet were hurting horribly (she hadn't really worn hiking/heavy walking appropriate shoes), so we stopped in a shoe shop we passed. Unfortunately, the prices were far too high to comfort her sore tootsies. So instead, we pressed on.

Up-close view of the facade of Basilique du Sacré Cœur
I love how white the stone is, even for how long ago the church was built! (Which is really just the properties of the travertine stone at fascinating and breathtaking!)

We didn't take the time to go up into the dome (though I hear you get an amazing view of Paris from up there!), but we did go down into the crypt below, where we came across a super creepy statue that I would have believed to have been once human and turned to stone through supernatural means, leaving a soul trapped inside to leer at everyone. (It was seriously creepy!) Also in the crypt was a little chapel which houses a stone urn containing the heart of Alexandre Legentil, a Parisian layman that made a vow with Hubert Rohault de Fleury to build the basilica.

Since Sacré Cœur is at the highest point of the highest butte in Paris (Montmartre), we got an amazing view of the city. The stairs in front of the basilica are quite popular, but given all our walking up to this point and knowing we weren't done yet, we opted for the tram that runs up and down the hill and bypassed the stairs altogether! :)

View of the Eiffel Tower from near Basilique du Sacré Cœur

On our way back downhill with the Metro in our sights, we came across a small tea shop. I asked about the kind of tea I had at the cafe before, and bought some from the shop owner, but I found out after I got home, while the tea had the same name, the taste was completely different. :(