The next morning we ate breakfast with Marlys and Michael at their apartment. Round two of yummy lattes, this
time accompanied by pastries filled with chocolate and cream, croissants with jam from the Philippines, and
baguettes slathered with Nutella. After three pastries each we literally had to pry ourselves away from the table to
avoid embarassment (you know those over-indulgent Americans!).
Michael then led us on a tour of Montmartre. It seems
this neighborhood is a popular location for filming
movies. Must be the same cobblestone streets and
charming buildings that beguiled us yesterday. The
most recent, and most famous, film to be shot here
was “Amelie”. Much to our chagrin, we had not seen
it, so most of the novelty was lost on us. But the tour
was interesting nonetheless. Some of the facts
Michael shared with us include how Paris was virtually
redesigned in the mid 1800’s to include much of the
architecture evident today. This was called the “belle
epoch” period. He also pointed out where the servant
quarters were located in the grand homes of the
past. They were housed at the very top of these
beautiful mansions, in the eave of the roof. From the
outside, you would think this would be a prime
location, offering a panoramic view of Paris. In reality,
the roof was often made of steel and there was no
|One of many scenic staircases in the Montmartre neighborhood
insulation. Therefore it was susceptible to the elements, becoming unbearably hot in the summer and quite frigid in
winter. I guess a pretty view can’t quite detract from those extremes (as evidenced by our walk along the Siene
yesterday). We cruised past the Moulin Rouge, Picasso’s first studio and apartment, countless boulangeries,
patisseries, and a few set locations from “Sabrina” and “The French Kiss”. All in all, a very fun tour and quite nice to
hear a local’s perspective on the neighborhood in general.
From there we set out to see two Paris must-see sights, the Arc de Triomphe and
the Eiffel Tower. The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon as a tribute
to…himself. We climbed the (284) steps to the top to enjoy the view. I spent most
of my time watching traffic in the roundabout below. I still don’t understand who
has the right of way when! From the Arc de Triomphe we walked across town to
the grand dame of Paris-the Eiffel Tower. At this point we had a choice. Wait in a
very long line to take the elevator to the very top viewing platform, or hoof it up
the stairs as high as the stairs reach, which is the second platform. We are
slightly more impatient than lazy, therefore we chose the stairs.
Our Paris adventure concluded with dinner in the Marais, another neighborhood of
Paris. The restaurant we chose, La Rouge Gorge, features a different regional
cuisine every two weeks. Guess what cuisine was currently being featured?
Moroccan. And with that, we headed back to our studio to pack up for our flight to
Marrakech, Morocco the next morning.
|The Eiffel Tower looking good on
a yucky day in Paris.