Thursday, November 21, 2013

Paris in Summer

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: Monday, July 20, 2009

Arriving in Montmartre, the four of us climbed the infamous stairs there and after a stop or two so that I could catch my breath, we made our way to Sacré-Cœur. The day was warm but there was a welcome breeze to cool us as we explored the area around the Basilica. We paused in front of a statue and I asked Mathieu whom it was commemorating. He told me that this man had been killed because his music was unpopular. Darcy told me that Mathieu might have been making that story up, so I may never know! The view from the Butte Montmartre is spectacular, and I took a picture of the distant Eiffel Tower from the same vantage point I had used in February. Montmartre, loosely translated, means "mountain of the martyr" and was named after St. Denis, who was decapitated there in 250 A.D. 

This view of the Eiffel Tower from Montmartre looks
 a bit different from the photo I took in February.

We left the hill in the opposite direction from which we had ascended and found ourselves in the area where the movie "Amélie" had been filmed. The hillside was teeming with tourists and the carousel was whirling merrily, loaded with children and their parents. We stopped at a cafe for a cold drink, and then did a bit of souvenir shopping. Darcy and Mathieu bought a pair of socks for me which have a map of the Paris Metro imprinted on them! At the toes, you can find the station across from our hotel. I collect socks, so that was the perfect little souvenir.

A close-up of Sacre Coeur.

Pausing for a breather on the stairs of Montmartre.

Paris in summer... it's HOT! We discovered that our hotel does not truly have air conditioning. The hallways are much cooler than the rooms, so we propped the door open a few inches and with the window open on the opposite wall we were able to get a nice little breeze going. It was too bad we couldn't leave it that way for night! Speaking of the hotel - I finally ran across one of those miniscule Paris bathrooms that I had heard so much about. The one in our room was so small that when I tried to undress, my elbows would bang against the walls.The shower stall seemed to be the roomiest place in the bathroom! There was a large hair dryer unit attached to the wall across from the toilet, and one of the magnets was missing, so if you even breathed on it the drying wand would fall off and automatically begin to blow. It was  pretty hilarious, and happened within a few seconds every time one of us went into the bathroom for any reason.

Travel Tip: Avoid Paris in summer. The temperatures are brutal!

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