Most known for the Sacré Couer with its history dating from the late 1800’s and its glorious view of all of Paris, Montmartre boasts of many artists, bars and restaurants and draws thousands of tourists each year. Take a walk throughout this safe area and explore the small local shops. There are specialty stores for everything from shoemakers to dress shops, bread bakeries to dessert shops, and lots of cafes and bars to choose from. The sidewalk cafes are inviting and none of them are bad. Mornings care quiet on the streets and lunch begins around noon.
Take a walk through the Sacré Couer. It feels like a bit like a herd of cattle, but go anyway and duck to the side to relish in the beauty of the stained glass windows, and the candles brightly lit by those who where praying for special requests or for a loved one. There is a small fee to climb to the top of the Sacré Couer…three hundred or so steps. Since it was a hazy day we declined the trek as the view was not as good as we would have liked. Perhaps that trek awaits us on another day.
The square nearby was filled with artists and restaurants where you could have your face drawn by any of a number or artists. There were many working artists selling their paintings on the square as well. Scenes of Paris abounded in many different styles and techniques. The artists were focused on working until you stopped and looked, then they were happy to speak to you. The talent was immense and the speed with which they worked was amazing. They have definitely honed their talent over much time.
At the bottom of the stairs that lead up to the Sacré Couer is a lovely old carousel that is still in operation. For 2 euros one can ride the historic carousel. Since I was young, it is always the highlight of my day.
We enjoyed a lovely cappuccino while working our way back to the train station. There is nothing so tasty as local fresh strong Paris coffee. They definitely know how to serve coffee. The sidewalk cafe tables make for a perfect location to enjoy the sun that had come out and to people watch. Trying to determine who the locals were proved to be more challenging than we thought, causing us to pause and realize that people inherently look and act similarly no matter where they are from. Paris is a mixture of people and cultures from around the world – a true melting pot. Through in tourists from all over and you really have a great city.